The Ark

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NatureJunkie's Blog (51)

Playing real good for free

Whenever I enter my BART* station, morning or evening, I’m treated to someone’s musical performance. I can think of more than a dozen musicians or groups who play my BART plaza with regularity. Most of them are pretty decent, some are embarrassingly bad, and a couple of them are superb.

One who falls in the superb category is a man who plays classical guitar. His guitar is almost as beaten up as Willie Nelson’s. He is disheveled, his clothes are very worn, and he doesn’t have a chair… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on September 17, 2009 at 12:30pm — 6 Comments

For Chig

A Dog on his Master

As young as I look,
I am growing older faster than he,
seven to one
is the ratio they tend to say.

Whatever the number,
I will pass him one day
and take the lead
the way I do on our walks in the woods.

And if this ever manages
to cross his mind,
it would be the sweetest
shadow I have ever cast on snow or grass.

-Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003

Added by NatureJunkie on September 1, 2009 at 11:55pm — 4 Comments

What does YOUR president smell like?

A blog inspired by Pypermarru1

Two years ago, Michelle Obama revealed in an interview with Glamour magazine that her girls refused to cuddle with her husband in the morning because he is too "snore-y and stinky." Stinky, that is, because of his cigarette smoking.

This got me thinking about what President Obama smells like now. My gut-check personality assessment of the presidents of my lifetime tells me that President Obama wears Drakkar Noir.

Probably… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on August 21, 2009 at 5:00pm — 4 Comments

An Agent of Karma

Aside from quitting, there isn't much you can do to fight back against a bad boss. But sometimes the devil slips on a banana peel, and when such karma happens, why not enjoy it?

Fifteen years ago I was employed by a tyrant in a little hellhole custom photo lab. The owner, Greg, was a (self-described) commercial photographer whose lab printed his own work in addition to taking outside orders. Greg was slow thinking, petty, racist, and mean. He cheated his clients and his… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on August 5, 2009 at 5:04pm — 5 Comments

When All My Friends Were Musicians

I attended the first meeting of a guitar class today, Beginning Guitar. I knew from the description of Intermediate Guitar that that is really where my skill level is at, but everything I know is self-taught. I thought it would be a good idea to end my life-long, half-assed approach to the instrument and learn to do it right, and from the beginning.

I learned to play guitar when I was in high school because I had to. No, not because my parents forced me to take… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on February 21, 2009 at 9:47pm — 15 Comments

No Damn Birthday Video for Flophousepoodle

My dearest Flophouse,

Forgive me for not making a wonderful, funny video tribute to you on your birthday like you did for me. I wanted to use your birthday as an opportunity to thank you for all the ways that you’ve touched my life, but I’m such a sentimental dork, I can’t do it. I sat in front of my video camera today doing take after take, and each time I tried, I got too choked up to deliver.

Hedgeballs, ahem. Please forgive me for writing this down instead of saying it… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on February 16, 2009 at 11:43pm — 4 Comments

FHP, and The Easiest Recognizable Social Divide

Last July on LV, Flophousepoodle posted a video called Failure Smorgasbord. Someone left her the following comment: “U need a dental job.”

At the time I cringed when I read that comment, being as I feel great affection for FHP, and I wondered how she would react when she read it. How do you react to a comment that’s intended to hurt? She gave one of the best comebacks I’ve ever read because it was full of humor and grace and humility while underscoring the meanness of the… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on January 25, 2009 at 5:36pm — 5 Comments

Be of Good Cheer.

The fourth in a trilogy. (Yes, I get the irony.)

In one of the hardest periods of my life, I was jobless, flat broke, and unable to make my rent. I have a good friend in my life, Carolyn, who has always been like a surrogate mother to me. Over the 35 years that I have known her, she routinely reiterates the offer to help me if I am ever in trouble. When I told her then what kind of trouble I was in, I received a check from her two days later. It was a thousand dollars,… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on December 25, 2008 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

A Christmas Care Package

In response to my last two blogs, I was inspired to rethink my angst about gift giving by the comments of 30andOut, Tahllulah, and ScribblersSanctuary, who relish the opportunity to give at Christmas unencumbered by the anxieties I feel. Ken even sees his gifts as extensions of himself. I like that “gift as extension of self” philosophy. I’m going to try that philosophy on next year and see if it fits me.

About ten years ago, I let a financial advice guru… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on December 24, 2008 at 11:58am — 1 Comment

The Rejection of the Gift Horse

Until I was five, people could be divided into two categories: grownups and children. But at five, I became aware that there were actually three groups: There were grownups, and then there were little kids and big kids. I was a little kid. Chris W. who lived down the street was eleven—a big kid. Chris was the only big kid in my neighborhood who paid attention to me. In return, I adored him.

In the autumn before I turned six, Chris had his garage fully occupied with two construction… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on December 19, 2008 at 3:54pm — 1 Comment

The Best Gift EVER!

The best gift I ever received was a talking toy chimpanzee called Chester O'Chimp. He was manufactured by Mattel in 1964, but I felt certain that Santa's elves would have no trouble making an excellent knock-off. Chester was about the size of a baby chimp, and when you pulled a string on his back, his rubber lips moved while he said any one of a dozen wise cracks. Santa really came through for me that year, big time. I loved Chester for a solid two or three years. I have not… Continue

Added by NatureJunkie on December 17, 2008 at 12:20am — 1 Comment

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