Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Hmmm... Let's see if this thing still works.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Macchu

Enjoying the photo feature... this is me at Macchu Pichu last year.

Good Times On Cliffs

This is us on the California coast.


She's out of ICU and will be going home with her parents for a bit. I need some sleep.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


For the last couple days I've been at Central DuPage Hospital in Illinois. Jackie is in the ICU there. Her family and friends have swarmed to her side. She's scared and exhausted, but doing well. She became dehydrated, which led to her developing some blood clots in her brain. Her weeklong headache transitioned to confusion and problems speaking. Her sisters got her to the hospital without much time to spare. Her family are gracious, caring and sweet.

I'm writing this from my kitchen table at The Compound, drinking a coffee and getting my head together. I've made arrangements for the hound for the next few days.

I'm usually pretty good at buckling my emotions down, which Jackie says is sometimes a downside, something I need to work on. I don't want to get her upset. She needs to rest.

I wasn't this scared jumping out of a plane. I wasn't this scared looking down cliffsides in Peru. I wasn't this scared being driven to a desolate part of Delhi in the middle of the night.

I'm going to sit here for a while and get my head together. Then I'm going back to the hospital.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Good Neighbors, Good Fences, Etc

So, I have new neighbors. They live in the house that is back, to the left. They've been there about six weeks. Three little kids and an older lady. And sometimes a guy. And sometimes some other woman. And a lot of yelling and screaming.

Now, I don't find the sound of little kids carrying on, being little kids, disagreeable. I do find the sound of children screaming in mortal terror to be a call to action.

Yesterday I got home and laid down on my bed to relax for a moment. Jackie came in and laid down. We listened to the neighbor lady screaming in anger and children screaming in reply. Jackie said this had been going on, on and off for parts of the afternoon. Most of their words were unintelligible, but the tone was not mistakeable. I dithered for several minutes. The yelling continued. I got up, exited my backdoor, walked across the neighbor's lawn, and banged on their door. A dishevelled and remarkably subdued and meek woman answered the door.

K-I've been hearing screaming for the last half hour coming from your house. Is everyone OK, because it doesn't sound like it.
L-Well, my son disobeys and he... he yells sometimes.
K-I'm hearing you screaming. You need to stop screaming. I don't want to hear it. Whatever you're doing, you need to stop screaming. OK? I don't want to have this conversation again, OK?

I formally accepted her grunt as acknowledgement of our verbal contract: She will cease screaming, I will cease visiting. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Trains, Boats, Planes, Trolley Cars, Automobiles

Two weeks ago Jackie and I took the train from Chi to Seattle, then rented a convertible and drove down the coast to San Francisco. Many adventures were had. Many unlikely things happened. We travelled by many modes of transport and ate many unlucky sea creatures.

The vacation was... what's a big word with the connotation of wonderfulness? Phenomenal? Extrampulicious? Flambacious? All of the above. We travel well together. Really well. Scary well. We experienced no major snags and ran into or made our own luck on a half dozen occassions. Like when we went to Alcatraz...

We did the night tour on Friday the 13th. Extra creepy. They opened the medical area between 8pm and 8:30pm. Very mucho extra double creepy. Big old metal dinosaur/bug like medical equipment in paint peeling, barred and drafty rooms where you KNOW guys died.

A park guide befriended us and took us (and only us) into A block (the oldest part of the prison), then led us to the unused sub-basement. There was no lighting there so we used the ranger's little flashlight and my supah-maglite. Lots of old brickwork and dreary concrete. Then we got to the old isolation cells that were used in the 1800's, where we shut the flashlights off for a bit. Triple extra mucho supah flambaciously creepy. You could see THE DARKNESS and hear howling wind and echo-stretched voices from the cells above. If there's a place I'd believe in spirits, ghosts, or other psychic phenomena it would be in the Alcatraz operating room or the Alcatraz sub-basement isolation cells.

But I don't. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Almost a year...

Last year, after I got back from Peru, a few things happened.

1) Went to Vegas in August to surprise The Duck on his birthday. Much hilarity ensued. Saw hookers, but did not touch. They don't look like the hookers in the movies. This made 3XHAR a saaaaad panda.

2) Started dating a woman named Jackie. Still dating her. And it is good.

3) Went to India for three weeks. Many adventures were had: monkeys fighting dogs, ancient temples, Vibz and Ranak got married, I got robbed, inhaled pollution, met great people, saw Mt Everest in the Snow Haus, visited the Taj Mahal and travelled by plane, van, car, autorickshaw, boat, foot, and elephant. And I remain friends with Ted, the finest of travelling companions.

4) Have started running. So far, it's not too fun in a conventional way. It's fun like hiking all day with no air to breathe in Peru was fun. My idea of fun may not be your idea of fun.

5) Played and am playing much volleyball. Am in two leagues now and will be playing three to four times each week this summer.

6) Did the Polar Plunge in Madison's Lake Monona in February. It was mind-numbingly cold. The kind of stimulus that turns parts of your brain off. I found it interesting.

Current Pain: Shoulder. Very bad. Had to push my car uphill when it became disabled by a vast molten pit in the road (a pot hole). May see a doctor tomorrow, now that I have a car that is fixed.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Manu and the Amazon

Manu and The Amazon

To Manu Preserve.
Half of Rain Forest is rain.
The van slides and bucks.

Passing on cliff sides.
Amazonian road rage.
One wrong turn, we fall.

Sleeping in the van.
Bumped awake by road debris.
Adrenaline surge.

Driving in rain, mud.
The driver has nerves of steel.
The road ends: landslide.

We sit in the van.
The road has ceased to exist.
Surrounded by green.

Brown water swirls, foams.
Boat stops, guide points to tree tops.
Monkeys on branches.

Wisconsin poncho.
Flatboat, drenching rain, straight down.
Only I am dry.

Fraulein whips off her shirt.
Why don’t mosquitoes bite her?
We’re in the jungle.

Amazon night walk.
Still, hand-sized tarantulas.
Get close: photograph.

Big red moth near bulb.
Slapstick chase ends with capture.
Now free, it wants in.

Amazon night walk.
Mosquitoes veer from DEET.
I am repellant.

Frauleins are stoic.
Sauna jungle march at night.
British boys complain.

We climb the banyan.
Twelve stories above the ground.
Of course, then we spit.

Careful: inch long ants.
Jungle bugs crawl out at night.
Morning: shake your boots.