Writing With a Puppy in the House

I guess I either don't remember what life with a puppy is like, or else my two experiences raising puppies happened when I was young enough not to notice, but I certainly didn't expect it to be what it is. Nigel is a good dog. A great dog, actually, but I'm no longer in my thirties as I was when I last lived with a baby dog.

The good news is that at just under 9 weeks old he is both crate and potty trained. This means he goes into his crate all by himself when he's sleepy and he asks to go outside when he needs to do his business. He learns quickly; show him something twice and he has it.

Of course, there are typical puppy things that try my patience, like waking me up in the morning and chewing on my hairand my hands are a mess from scratches and nipsbut these things will pass in time. I suppose it won't be until around the 12-week mark that I'll be able to get back to my writing when the spirit moves rather than during puppy nap times.


The Beatles... in My Life

I've never considered myself a typical Beatles fan. Not in the strict sense of the word. Yes, I had all of their albums and yes, I had their pictures on my walls (I was 12 when they came to America in 1964 and was prime material for the Beatlemania that ensued), but, as I've said many times, I never wanted to marry a Beatle, I wanted to be a Beatle. In fact, when I went to the Beatles' concert at Dodger Stadium in August of 1966, I was pissed because I couldn't hear the music. I mean, the sound systems were bad enough in those days, but all the screaming certainly didn't help, especially in so large a venue...



You'd think that with all the great things happening in my life right now I'd be soaring along, surfing the crest, riding the wave, mixing my metaphors with unbridled abandon. The truth is, I'm growing increasingly overwhelmed. This picture says it all: a tsunami crashing on the no-through road of life...


The Dog Days of Autumn

I have gotten myself a puppy. A barking, yipping, whining, piddling, pooping puppy... and I love him! Everyone, meet Nigel the Doxador...



I believe I need to invest in one of those Magic 8-Balls. Years ago a friend of mine had one, which she'd named Snodgrass for some reason. We consulted Snodgrass all the time and he was eerily right-on. Or maybe it just seemed like it. Those were the days of legal, organic ecstasy after all, and everything made sense in that New-Agey synchronistic sort of way that made up the bulk of the 1980s in my little corner of southern California...


And... Action!

I didn't go to college until I was 35 because I'd had my first child right out of high school and quickly became a single parent. Instead of sitting in classrooms, I sat in factories, shipping rooms, and offices, each in their turn. When I finally was able to enroll as a music composition major (in my mid-thirties), I applied myself with a fervor that worried the people around me and raised no little degree of jealousy in my fellow students...



"We all shine on like the moon, the stars, and the sun."John Lennon


The Attic is Always Dustier Over the Garage

This is my goal for our garage starting tomorrow, to be accomplished by Sunday evening. The garage in the photo isn't ours, but it's close enough. We have a large, corner workbench area, a full, blank wall opposite, a set of steel shelves, and a pull-down ladder that leads to a large attic space that needs to be addressed as well. But it's not too bad up there. Boxes are stacked and things are pretty neat, if a little dusty. Okay, a lot dusty...


Home is Where the Sand Is

Something weird and wonderful happened to me almost immediately I left the airport terminal in Santa Barbara last August. As soon as I steered my rental car out of the lot and onto Fairview Avenue toward the coastline, I became instantly Californian again. In a matter of seconds the past 12 years in Oklahoma were totally erased. Obliterated. Everything in me changed instantly, my mindset, my attitude, my sense of place in the universe. My exile in Oklahoma had had no impact on me except to make me appreciate California more. It wasn't what I expected to happen...