April 2017


Books I’m reading

1.  The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
2.  Zealot by Reza Aslan
3.  Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
4.  Strategy by Captain B.H. Liddell Hart
5.  The Ruined Map by Kobo Abe


Tao Te ChingBooks I’ve Read More than Once in the Past Year

1.  The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
2. Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
3.  Tao Te Ching by Lao Tszu
4.  300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
5. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield



Recent Favorites

1.  Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
2.  300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
3.  When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
4.  American Gods by Neil Gaiman
5.  Vox by Nicholson Baker


ObstacleRecent Favorite Audio Books

1.  The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
2.  The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
3.  But What If We’re Wrong by Chuck Klosterman
4.  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
5.  Getting Unstuck by Pema Chödrön


Satanic VersesBooks I need to reread

1.  Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
2.  1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
3.  Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
4.  The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
5.  Vertigo by W. G. Sebald



Books currently on my nightstand

1.  Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
2.  The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
3.  Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
4.  The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour
5.  Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön



Last five books read

1.  Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, translated by Gregory Hays
2.  This is How by Augusten Burroughs
3.  You are a Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations by Mike Edison
4.  Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
5.  Seducing the Demon by Erica Jong



Last five books read on kindle

1.  300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
2.  The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
3.  Levels of the Game by John McPhee
4.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu
5.  Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed


Last five poetry books I’ve read from

1.  On the Pulse of Morning by Maya Angelou
2.  New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver
3.  When One has Lived a Long Time Alone by Galway Kinnell
4.  Inferno by Dante
5.  The Captain Lands in Paradise by Sarah Manguso


Graphic Novels

1.  Maus by Art Spiegelman
2.  The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
3.  Cages by Dave McKean
4.  V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
5.  Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


Books currently on our coffee table

1.  The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects  by Giorgio Vasari
2.  Exactitudes by Ellie Uyttenbroek and Ari Versluis
3.  Cy Twombly: Centre Pompidou
4.  Luigi Ghiri: Pensiero Paesaggio Thought Landscape 
5.  Jean-Michel Basquiat: Mudec


all art is propagandaThe Next Five Books

1.  Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
2.  The Ending of Time by Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm
3.  Against Everything, Essays by Mark Grief
4.  Dry by Augusten Burroughs
5.  All Art is Propaganda by George Orwell


Recollections of Early Childhood (after Wordsworth)

— • —
My father fainted when the doctor began stitching up my tongue. I was four.

— • —
I remember lying on the grass one summer day, watching the clouds drift into shapes, and seeing this huge Chinese head lean over the edge of a cloud and look directly down at me. We looked at each other for . . . minutes . . . hours . . . days?

— • —
When you’re five and it’s cold and Christmas Eve and you’re driving to your grandparent’s house—the moon following beside your car over the frozen wheat fields of the Idaho panhandle is such magic that you try to capture it in poem for years and years and cannot ever quite.

— • —
My father took me rock climbing with his buddies. They had a rule: If you stepped on the rope, you got spit on. That day, I was wearing a light-blue short-sleeved Idaho Vandals sweatshirt. I was 7.

— • —
In my 30s, I was putting together a book of my paternal grandfather’s memoirs for him to give to the family. I was stunned that it taken me so long to realize that he was actually horrible, insecure little prick.

— • —
My uncle, when he was a teenager,  got into a fistfight with my grandfather. I often weigh this against my own experience of not having thrown a punch at my father.

— • —
I started walking at nine months—which I’m sure was a nuisance to my eighteen-year old parents. I got my first stitches shortly thereafter—it involved a vase at their friend’s house and I got them just above my left eye.

— • —
When my paternal grandfather found out that his son had impregnated my mother—both were 17—he shamed my father so hugely and so completely, I think he never recovered. I heard this story for the first time at my father’s funeral.

— • —
My family story is a train-wreck occurring for generations over decades. Did I jump off in time?

— • —
When I was four, my mom and my aunts took me to a drive-in movie. I was supposed to sleep in back. I did not. The movie: Rosemary’s Baby.

— • —
I remember very vividly scraping the living bejesus out of both knees at the age of five, while riding a pedal fire-engine at a friend’s house.

— • —
When I was five, my mom would put me on the bus in Moscow, Idaho and my aunts would pick me up in Lewiston.

— • —
I would spend weeks of summer at my grandparents house—the single A night baseball games were well-attended, totally electric, and it was the best temperature of the day. I’d go with my grandfather. I’d take my mitt.

— • —
Best summer memory of my maternal grandfather: going out at night with flashlights to catch earthworms in the flowerbeds we had watered before dark. Honorable mention: Driving the golf cart at the country club and bowling at the alley he owned.

— • —
My grandmother tried to teach me how to whistle with a blade of grass (I still cannot do it, alas).

— • —
When I was very young, I spent a lot of time in Lewiston with my Grandmother. Those moments were totally lived in the present. I wish I remembered more. I think my mind has become too organized by time since then. But I still have these memories of walking to the store to buy licorice and Mountain Dew (back when the bottle had hillbillies on it).

— • —
I have a very distinct visual memory of touching a hot stove burner the first time. It was totally a science experiment. Lesson learned.

— • —
When I was six, I dropped a rock over the fence onto my friend Bryce’s head. It was also a science experiment. I am stunned over my lack of regret at the time.

— • —
When I was nine, and at school, someone entered our house—he didn’t take anything but he did pee on the floor.

— • —
In second grade, I told Tami that she was my favorite girl. She proceeded to march me around to her friends to have me repeat it. Lesson learned.

— • —
In second grade, at recess, I found myself surrounded by 4 or 5 girls. Lisa Sanders kissed me. I had a crush on her for years after that. Maybe even still.

— • —
My grandmother kept a stash of JFK 50-cent pieces in the freezer. She gave them to me on my eleventh birthday so I could buy a 10-speed.

— • —
It took me ten times to pass beginner swim lessons at Mission Pool in Spokane.

— • —
Elementary and Junior High Crushes: Peggy, Tami, Lisa, Shari, Denise, Joette, Debbie, Cindy, Teri, Yvette, Debbie, Suzy, Tari, Annette, Donna, Wendy, Anne, Sue, and JoAnne.

— • —
In elementary school, I ran home from the bus stop everyday one year. I cannot remember why.

— • —
In elementary and junior high school, the male teachers had hack paddles. Some of them lovingly carved in the school’s shop to leave special marks—initials in many cases— on young boy’s asses.

— • —
In sixth grade, I was often found sitting in the hall for being a smartass. I know, big surprise. I always just avoided the hack-paddle.

— • —
In ninth grade, I was 5’2” and weighed 100 pounds at the first of football season. I weighed 92 by the end of it.

— • —
To hell with the time-space continuum—if I could go back in time I’d beat the shit out of at least 9 people, including my father and several teachers.

— • —
Fights were held after school at the pump house. The fierce recess passion had usually died off by then, but word had gotten around, it’d became a spectator sport, and the show must go on.

— • —
My brother launched a perfect toss of the bat from home plate toward first base where I stood after an easy out. The bat spun in slow motion like the bone tossed into the air in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The cut that followed was not as famous as Kubrick’s.

— • —
You cannot line-item veto shit from your past. Alas.