Friday, June 29, 2007


Cool, cool cucumbers. Crisp, refreshing, thirst quenching. The cucumber is the perfect summer treat.


Summer is amazing. There are many reasons why, one being lettuce. Fresh organic lettuce from the farmers market, tossed with a little balsamic dressing, or ginger miso...

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I am eating a Kiwi and thinking, as I always do when eating a Kiwi, of the Suva produce market on the big Island of Viti Levu in Fiji, and the kid who sold me the fresh Kiwi juice from a water cooler.

I'll never forget how good that juice was.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


SANDI: Heidi and I met playing softball. The first year we played together was 1992. We were both with other partners at the time and for most of that year I was happy in my relationship so Heidi and I were just teammates. Some of my first memories of her were that she was in intense player, a bit of a hot head, but I could understand that and it didn't bother me as my partner at the time was the same way. That I can be a little intense and hotheaded when it comes to competitive sports wasn’t a factor at all . . . LOL.

By the end of that softball season my relationship was having problems and in the '93 season we had decided to see other people. Still, it wasn’t Heidi as she and her partner at the time as far as I knew were still together. I started dating a Police Officer. She was nice enough but the spark wasn’t there and at some point during that relationship I quit drinking. It may have had something to do with the fact that “The Officer” had a habit of constantly feeding me drinks when we went out and the day I had a hangover so bad I couldn’t go to work I stopped drinking for a year. Looking back I picked a bad year to quit drinking . . . as the saying goes!

During the '94 season is when Heidi and I first started seeing each other. Apparently in the off season she had split up with her X. I had split up with the Officer, although she was still hanging around - also I had the added stress of attempting to reconcile with my X. I remember that Heidi and I had planned on meeting up at the events after the Gay Pride parade. I think I was working a booth for the softball team. I remember being excited to see her but this particular day didn’t work out like we thought as the Officer had shown up earlier. It was rather awkward.

We tried again to go out as friends but my X saw right through Heidi’s intentions and as she and I were sort of unsuccessfully attempting reconciliation she tagged along to the movie. Lordy, what a mess! My memory of this period is a little shaky with good reason . . . I was a tad stressed. I had always liked Heidi but found myself really attracted to her on another afternoon at yet another softball event. It was a men’s tourney and I was again working a booth to raise funds for our team. Heidi came walking up smiling from ear to ear and I thought, “Wow, what a beautiful smile! Her whole face lights up when she smiles!” I was hooked. By the end of the softball season the stress had gotten to me and I can remember grabbing a beer from our coach saying “Give me that” and I chugged it down. Not long after that my X and I had pretty much realized that we would be better off as friends instead of lovers. She was seeing someone else and Heidi and I were seeing more and more of each other.

Heidi lived in Ballard and I would stop by after my classes at the UW and we would talk. Heidi and I had and still have a lot of things in common aside from sports and both of us being the oldest siblings in our respective families, we even like the same TV shows and movies. I was being cautious; I had been through too much stress the 2 years prior to leap into anything. Heidi and my X were alike in a lot of ways and I wasn’t sure that it would work out given that my X and I didn’t. They are also very different and I suppose it’s those differences that have allowed Heidi and I to stay together . . . for almost 13 years now.

Wow, 13 years, we fight, she drives me crazy sometimes but I love her and frankly can’t imagine being with anyone else. I have been trying to think of something unique or worries I had in the beginning but I really can’t think of anything. We knew each other before we decided to date. We were both coming out of relationships and we enjoyed each others company. There were friends that didn’t think we were a good fit, but they couldn’t see Heidi the way I did. They all saw this hard, hot headed softball player that couldn’t control her temper. I saw strength, passion, shyness and compassion. I was right . . . they were wrong and it's been almost 13 years and we are still going strong.

HEIDI: I met Sandi and her then partner on the softball field in the spring of 1992 in Seattle. They played in the same gay softball league on another team the previous year but wanted to play on a better team and the team I played on was it. At the time I also had a partner. The season progressed with lots of ball playing and spending time with all the players. Sandi stood out by her friendliness and her willingness to accept people as they were. Her partner at that time and I did not really get along and so we would have our squabbles but Sandi would step in and just calm everyone down. She also knew that her ex and I were very competitive and it sometimes upset the rest of the team but she did not let that bother her either; she understood that sometimes people have to let off steam and tried to get the others to also see it. I liked this about her because not many team members could or would even take the time. This also was not a good year for Sandi because her partner was struggling with wanting to be with her and another person who she knew in high school.

After the season ended I did not really see her again until the next softball season 1993, even though she would call and see if anyone would like to go out dancing. By then she was seeing someone else as was her ex, even though they still did things together. About this time my relationship was having problems and my partner decided to take a job in another city. I guess that was pretty much the end even though at first we did try to make it work but it really wasn’t meant to be.

In the spring of 1994 our next season started and I was pretty much single. I thought Sandi was still dating someone else but while playing in a tournament in California over Memorial weekend a comment she made about the other person told me she was not. I also got the impression that she may like me but then I figured it could be that she was just being nice as always. I know that I felt an attraction to her. A question my ex-partner had asked me a couple of years before was if I were to date anyone on the team who would it be. I knew this was a loaded question and did not want to answer but with prodding I answered that it would be Sandi. She was shocked but I was not and told her why.

Anyway after we got back from the tournament, one night after a league game I got up the nerve to ask Sandi if she liked movies (little did I know) and would she like to go out with me. I prepared myself for her to say no but she said yes. And so we went out.

There were some complications though throughout the season as her ex decided that she might want to get back with her especially since I was in the picture. This was really hard for Sandi as she really cared about her friend. I finally told Sandi that until she could make a decision one way or the other that we could no longer go out or see each other except when playing ball. This was hard for me because Sandi could have gone back to her ex but I wanted her to be sure and eventually she knew that she and her ex could only be really good friends and that she wanted to spend the time to get to know me.

So after 13 years we are still happily together and I have to say that Sandi is not only my lover and partner but she is my very best friend and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and feel blessed to have her in my life.

We are also very good friends with her ex and her ex's partner and do a lot of things together.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Susie & Shorty - 1st Installment in the Series: How We Met

I was invited by a friend to hang some of my paintings in a group art show which was being held in a second floor space above Woolworth’s on Hollywood Boulevard . The landlords of the space were a couple who had a recording studio and a clothing design studio, and they had on hand, their friend, Shorty, to run the sound for the fashion show and to help the artists hang and light their work.

I became aware of Shorty when Ian, the female half of the landlord team said to me, “Someone is in love with you”.

“Who?” I replied, looking around to see which artsy hunk would be my next disastrous fling.

“Shorty!”, she replied happily.

“Who is Shorty?”

“That guy, over there!” I followed her pointing finger to a very short, chubby man, whose belly was popping out of his dirty T-shirt, his uncombed, slightly unkempt Afro topping off the look, and his pants, hanging below the belly scuffed their long hems across the dirty floors.

“Oh", I said, disappointed. Ian immediately reassured me that Shorty was a very special man indeed. He was downright wonderful. I was less than enthused. She advised me to get to know him over the next couple days during the show. I’d always been interested in recording studios and production, and as I soon realized that Shorty was an audio engineer, I decided to hang around him in his element, the cruddy, cigarette burned mixing board in the smoke filled, worn down recording studio.

My immediate impression of him during the next 48 hours was that he was “cool”. He always seemed calm and happy, which of course could have been because he had some really good pot, but I came to realize this was truly who he was. He was respected by everyone and seemed to be the person, as small as he was, that everyone came to for help.

He asked me if I wanted to go to Cabo with him in three weeks because he was tour managing a rock band that had a New Year’s Eve gig at a club there.

I said, “Sure, I’ll go with you”, kind of thinking that it might happen or it might not. That night, he walked me to my car and spent about 7 minutes giving me his Skypager number and telling me in the most minute detail how to use it. He must have had some pretty stupid girlfriends in the past.

The next day, when I got home from work, there was a message from him on my answering machine. He said he needed to get may passport, etc. to get the papers ready for the trip. This guy is serious, I thought. Over the next month, he impressed me by being very capable – able to handle anything. What did not impress me were his lack of communication skills and absence of grooming or style. He also was definitely not artsy or “cultured” in any way, and seemed extremely uncomfortable around my crowd of friends. His tactic to ease his discomfort was to pretend he was a “meat eatin’, good ole’ boy from Texas” because he knew that it would piss off my vegetarian, tattooed, nose ringed friends – even though he was just a 5’2” Jewish guy from Cleveland. He really didn’t care if they liked him or not, he was just Shorty.

When we actually did go on the Cabo trip, this little guy really blew my mind. He had five half drunk rock and rollers and their girlfriends in tow, all their ID’s, passports, luggage, plane tickets, gear and manifests. When we got off the plane in Cabo, everyone at the airport knew him and greeted him warmly, which caused me to think that perhaps I had myself another drug dealer. But it was just the kind of guy that Shorty was – he was in his element, taking charge, doing his thing.

During the course of our early relationship, I was told time and time again by women who knew him what a great guy he was and how lucky I was to have landed him. We never really had a courtship because he’s not romantic, doesn’t converse, and really has no idea how to go on a date. He just kinda moved in, speaker by speaker, ugly piece of furniture by ugly piece of furniture. The issues that we had then are still the same issues we have today. The difference is that I learned how to ask him questions and through that finally learned “Shortyspeak” so that we can communicate. When I need to talk about art, jazz, and things of that nature, I go to my friends. The reason why we are still together after seventeen years is that he just truly is a great guy. He is the most capable, technically and mechanically proficient genius that I have ever seen. He does not know the meaning of the word “quit”. He wakes up every day happy, no matter what adversity he might be facing. He never worries me with things that might upset me, he just handles it all and lets me live in my happy little world. He is logic and patience personified.

He is still emotionally locked up, but he tells me he loves me every day, every time we say goodbye. Even though I’d love to school his little butt about many, many things, like how to speak properly, groom, dress, and a million more things, I respect him and admire him for all the amazing things that he can do that my cultured ass couldn’t figure out in a lifetime. I could go on and on about him so I’ll stop now.

I saw her at this art thing. She had a good body, I liked her paintings – they were buildings and not crazy like the other paintings. She knew how to work a staple gun, she was small and Jewish. She wasn’t too annoying, she had a nice apartment, and she had a good head on her shoulders even though she was divorced twice already. She was a little dippy but not too bad. She was psycho in Cabo, but I straightened her out. Her friends are okay but most of them are weird. I was worried that she would break up with me because she always bailed when things went wrong. She was a little too emotional, but I knew I could handle her. And what can I say now? She has a good body, she makes good kids. She’s a good mom. I taught her how to be normal and now she’s cool, but still crazy some times when her hormones are whacked out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I'm starting a series of stories about how couples met. Each entry will have two parts, one from each member of said couple, no collaborating or discussing. I'm interested in all kinds of relationships and how the stories shift with the different perspectives.

Things I'm interested in are when and where; under what circumstances. What were your first impressions, what were your second impressions? Did any one thing stand out as exceptional about this person? When and why did you know you wanted to get to know him/her better? Was there anything that might have potentially made the relationship impossible? All this and any other interesting details that might make your story unique, because it is my belief that all these stories are unique.

If you are interested in contributing you can emails me at and I'll be in touch with you.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Ok, ok, my last post was a rant, I apologize and retract. It seems the justice system has worked it out and Paris is just a regular girl like the rest of us. Yippee!

Let's not talk about her again. Ever.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


But I'm going to blog about, ugh, Paris Hilton. (see retraction above)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


What do you do when you sit in front of your computer screen and your mind is blank? Where do you get your inspiration? I have a lot of ideas for stories, but they are in files, struggling to coalesce into something worth reading. I keep them, knowing that eventually I'll find the key that opens them up, the key that unlocks the door to the inspiration vault. I never know when or where I'm going to find that key, but I'll confess, it often comes from my dreams - that magical subconcious that struggles to the surface when I sleep. Sometimes though, I go in search of inspriation.

Case in point: the other day I was logged onto an on-line writers workshop and the question was asked: what is the best gift you've received as a writer?

Someone mentioned that he was once given a "Descriptionary" and that it was the best tool he ever had for writing. So I looked it up on Amazon and found: Descriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary by Marc Mccutcheon. They have it in hardback for $60.00 but I bought a used copy for less than $1.00 + shipping. I got it in the mail they other day and opened it randomly to entries on bridges. It lists the names of all the different kinds of bridges and the names of all their parts. Now I'll have to write a story with a bridge in it so that I can use some great new vocabulary!

Basically this book is for people like me who know what the object looks like but can't think of what it's called - or never knew what it was called. You look up the description of the thing and it gives you the name. Genius! I don't know how I've managed to live without this book. Hopefully, it'll provide some inspiration soon.


I often listen in on conversations around me for bits of useful dialog. One day I was in my old favorite coffee hang out (alas it is gone now) and I listened to these two old farts talk about how they need to take a trip to Mexico where they can pick up on some hot ladies. I remember thinking that the only ladies anywhere that these guys are going to get lucky with are the kind you pay in advance. Nevertheless, I wrote down their conversation verbatim - it was so rich - and someday it'll make it into a story. Another time I watched this guy try to pick up on some chicks in the same wonderful coffee place (I wish it were still there). He was an obvious stoner and they were college girls, so he was trying to impress them: "Have you ever read that guy Krishnamurti? Yeah dude! He's so radical." I'm still waiting for the story that needs that line.

An on-line chat the other day was discussing new expressions. I thought the best one was: Mellow out. Who crapped in your Kellogg's? I definitely need to use that somewhere.



But what about now. Where's the inspiration?

I think it is weighted down by things. Things happening. Events to attend. Birthday parties. Baby showers. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Work.

It's a fine balance between setting aside time to write, and living life. You have to live life in order to fill up and have inspiration, but you can't let life crowd out your time for writing. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who could get up at 4 or 5 AM and write for an hour or two before the day begins, but anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person. I guess I'll continue to work the ideas into stories, improving my craft of writing and be grateful when the inspriation returns.