Friday, July 29, 2016

Notes on the fly

Currently I'm sitting in the Fort Lauderdale airport waiting for our flight to Costa Rica. We'll be there for two weeks. We've been in Florida a month now. Not much to report about it. Thea really loves going to the beach. We have to pry her out of the water when it's time to go but that's about it. It's been basically uneventful and very low key.

I take that back. Kristy and I attended a meeting of the Sarasota Writers Group, The usual format is an open mic with the option for feedback, if so desired, but this night there was a guest speaker. At first I was disappointed because I wanted to read but the speaker, Ryan G. Van Cleave, turned out to be really interesting. He's a writer, poet, professor at Ringling College of Art + Design and, as I understand it, he is the first person to offer a writing program there. Even cooler, he has integrated it with the visual arts and created an à la carte style program students can sculpt to fit their own interests and talents. He is also a one man writing scene that is more lively and interesting than any I have been in for a long time.

Writing scenes can be so weird. People get paranoid that their ideas are being stolen, there are ego games and toxic alliances but, at least at first glance, this guy seems immune to that bullshit. He's high energy, super enthusiastic about all aspects of writing and publishing and, best of all, independent. M. Lee has been talking about moving to Florida for some time now, a proposal I have been resisting, but after meeting Ryan, I'm am seriously interested in the idea. We shall see.


'Art is the elimination of the unnecessary."
- Pablo Picasso

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Change, the only constant

Wrong again. Why did I think life on Alligator Creek would always be the same? Nothing is ever the same. I'm not saying things always get worse, or that they are, but they do always change.

For one thing, Thea Bella and her mom are here with us this summer. Thea is now seven and is, as always, a delight though she manages to kick my ass nearly every time we play Sleeping Queens.

Great Blue Heron
& the old man by the sea.
On the other hand, Sonny has been gone since the 4th of July. That changes things. He was Alligator Creek's version of middle-aged Florida Man; a 50 something guy who, after countless misadventures, had been basically living on his parent's screen porch . . . for years. When he got going with his wild stories of the past or absurd plans for the future, whether on the phone or to his mom, the whole neighborhood could hear him. It didn't seem to bother him so what the hell? It was fun listening. Is he gone for good? Who's to say?

On the other hand, I happy to note that the great blue heron and the old man are both still around (see photo from a couple of years ago).  I saw the old fellow on the ferry to the beach. He still goes early and leaves by noon. The great blue heron is a little harder to catch up with but the other morning I saw him fishing along his usual lonely stretch of beach.

As for the squirrel scene, since a hawk got Frida a few years ago, I keep that on the down low, no more all day peanuts. It's safer that way. I put some nuts and seeds out in the morning and that's it. It took awhile but eventually one squirrel discovered them and was my only guest for nearly a week, then it was two, now sometimes four or five come by briefly in the morning.

Friday, July 8, 2016


Evening on the Gulf
Reflections on Alligator Creek

Somewhere in Texas

One more from the road.

Molly on the road

Monday, July 4, 2016

Uncommon ground

Can you transcend the uncommon ground?

Can I jump?

Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar is one of the Culturunners, a group of 10 Middle Eastern artists exploring the ideological boundaries between the US and the Middle East. More here.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Trump jacked on "cheap speed"?

Rumors abound. Makes sense to me. No matter what, the guy is whacked.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Alligator Creek

Frieda Kahlo's palm tree is taller now. That's good news. Last time we were here it had been so neglected, I feared it would be dead by now. And being taller, most of the fronds are above the roof line. They're out of view but rustle more in the wind. It's a nice sound.

Molly & Swami on screen porch
Molly and Swami on the screen porch.

And pops isn't dead either. We saw him this morning. He's looking skinny and spry as ever. And, again today, Sonny and his mom are back screaming at each other. He's big with the, "OH MY GOD! OH MY GAAAAWD! SHUT UP . . . knock this shit off!" He's got a cast on his arm. A drunken brawl or slip? Maybe Mom whacked him with a broom.

God, I'm awful.

Life on Alligator Creek 1
Life on Alligator Creek 1

So, life at least on this little spot on Alligator Creek is same as ever. Comforting. Swami, Molly and I are in the screen porch. Is it "in" or "on"?