Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Poor Man"

This song "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" is so amazing. You'll have to get through the introduction as the song starts at around the 2 minute mark. This was shot at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on the night I was there, June 5, 2006. What a party that was! My favorite part of this song comes around 4:40 with this line:

"I ain't got no home in this world no more
Gonna be a judgment that's a fact,
a righteous train rollin' down this track!"


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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

There's me with my big Christmas present:  tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Minnesota on March 16, 2008!  This will be my first out-of-California Springsteen show and I am going with my buddy Tony Cloyd.  As you can see, I am very happy about it!  Very grateful.

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home this year for the first time ever!  My kids were able to have a Christmas like I remember, just staying home and enjoying family and their new gifts.

I really hope you had a good Christmas too.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winter Visit

I was going to write this great summary of our visit last weekend to see the Cloyds in Minnesota. However, Julie beat me too it which is fine. If you want to read about it then go to her site and read Winter Visit.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Five Sentence Tribute: Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg died at age 56 on Sunday

I saw the great singer/songwriter, Dan Fogelberg live on June 5, 1988 and it was a wonderful show.  I'm listening to his lovely first album, HOME FREE (above) from 1972 as I type this.  Fogelberg had many hits like "Hard to Say," "Leader of the Band," "Part of the Plan," "Longer," and the classic "Same Old Lang Syne."  I'll never forget listening to his albums SOUVENIRS (1974), NETHERLANDS (1977), PHOENIX (1979), and THE INNOCENT AGE (1981) on my "U.S. Tour 1987" with my buddy Matt Jones.  TWIN SONS OF DIFFERENT MOTHERS, his collaboration with Tim Weisberg in 1978, is another one worth listening to.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007


No, Singapore is not a city in Wisconsin, so read on. On Friday Chrisy and I went to a bed and breakfast with our friends Tony and Julie Cloyd. It was a really good experience. The Cloyds actually live in Shakopee, but for one night we stayed at the Aurora Staples Inn in Stillwater, Minnesota. Shakopee is south of Minneapolis whereas Stillwater is north of St. Paul and right on the border of Wisconsin. Thus, we were able to drive across the St. Croix River so I could take a geeky touristy photo by the Wisconsin sign. Anyway, The bed and breakfast we stayed at in Stillwater was actually a home. Constructed in the 1890s by lumber baron Isaac Staples, it was built for his daughter Aurora when she married Adolphus Hospes. Hopes fought in the civil war and survived the first charge at Gettysburg. There's a lot of history in Stillwater and at the inn. Yesterday I posted a poem that I wrote on Saturday morning while staying at the there. In addition to writing though, they had a large library of books around the house so I was also able to read a bunch of poetry during my stay. One pleasant surprise I had was a book of poetry by Mary Oliver. One of her poems, Singapore, is one of the most moving poems I have ever read. I thought I would share it with you.


In Singapore, in the airport,
A darkness was ripped from my eyes.
In the women’s restroom, one compartment stood open.
A woman knelt there, washing something
in the white bowl.

Disgust argued in my stomach
and I felt, in my pocket, for my ticket.

A poem should always have birds in it.
Kingfishers, say, with their bold eyes and gaudy wings.
Rivers are pleasant, and of course trees.
A waterfall, or if that’s not possible, a fountain
rising and falling.
A person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem.

When the woman turned I could not answer her face.
Her beauty and her embarrassment struggled together, and
neither could win.
She smiled and I smiled. What kind of nonsense is this?
Everybody needs a job.

Yes, a person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem.
But first we must watch her as she stares down at her labor,
which is dull enough.
She is washing the tops of the airport ashtrays, as big as
hubcaps, with a blue rag.
Her small hands turn the metal, scrubbing and rinsing.
She does not work slowly, nor quickly, like a river.
Her dark hair is like the wing of a bird.

I don’t doubt for a moment that she loves her life.
And I want to rise up from the crust and the slop
and fly down to the river.
This probably won’t happen.
But maybe it will.
If the world were only pain and logic, who would want it?

Of course, it isn’t.
Neither do I mean anything miraculous, but only
the light that can shine out of a life. I mean
the way she unfolded and refolded the blue cloth,
The way her smile was only for my sake; I mean
the way this poem is filled with trees, and birds.

--Mary Oliver


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aurora Staples Inn


Before there were Starbucks and cell phones
in a time before rush hour,
you sat in this very chair.

Would you mind that I, so very modern,
made love to my wife in the same walnut bed
where you recovered from Gettysburg?

When lumber barons not neo-cons
ruled this great land
were men really that different?

"I think not,"
I hear you whisper through
the hundred year old wardrobe.

We wanted the same for our children
and prayed in the same
manner as you.

In the brisk air of winter we have
both been moved by the still waters
of the St. Croix; just the same.

--Shenandoah Lynd

(written and posted in Minnesota)


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Zoo Vet

And the number one reason not to become a crocodile veterinarian . . . .

Yea, that's real, from Taiwan, taken April 11, 2007.