Vacation reading update, because I know you’ve all been fretting about it.


If you want to double check what my reading list included, it’s over here.

I am feeling like a bit of a failure, because I only finished about half of the books on my list. I got half way through 2 others, and also re-read a few Austens.

Yes, I know it’s a very long list for a week. Yes, I know some people do other things when they are on vacation. I won’t criticize how you spend your time, if you don’t criticize how I spend mine. I probably think that you spend too much time doing shit like building housing for the poor and hiking, and not enough time listening to children on the teeter totter and drinking IPA.

I also eat a lot of potato chips, so it’s not like my activities aren’t varied.

Don’t be a hater.

Right. Reading list.

The hits?

Smoking Ears and Screaming Teeth, The Wasp Factory, Bossypants, Odd Thomas and Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. (Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Mansfield Park were all as wonderful as they are every time I read them, as was A Prayer For Owen Meany.)

The misses?

Nothing was horrible. I enjoyed Bag of Bones, but it wasn’t scary. When I read Stephen King, I would like to be scared. You knew there were ghosts, you knew who the ghosts were, and even the hero of the story was not afraid of them. The Silver Linings Playbook was also fine. Not great. Fine. I still can’t get into Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. It may be time to give up on that one.


The one big failure of our vacation this year was not with reading or beer drinking. We did great on both of those. Our one big failure was with spirits.

We did not have one cocktail or shot of anything during the entire week.

I promise to do better on that next year.

We made up for it on the evening we returned.

Sorry, Stuff. We weren’t very helpful on the unpacking, but we did enjoy your deck immensely. And the sipping whiskey.




Just one more thing: it’s Wild Turkey American Honey. Get some and drink a fifth of it. Even if you don’t like Wild Turkey.

I hear it’s also delicious with pineapple soda.

You’ll feel great.


I am going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

–The Pogues/Streams of Whiskey







She’s a what?!?

So I was listening to the song “Brick House” on my way to work this morning, and something has always bugged me about that song.

No, not that it’s a Commodores song and what was it doing in my ipod.

Well. Actually.

But no.

The babe in question is supposed to be 36-24-36, right? But isn’t the song title taken from the expression “built like a brick shithouse?”

I don’t get it.

A brick shithouse is a very large rectangle. Meatloaf is built like a brick shithouse. Not a hot chick with a big rack and tiny waist.

I’m over-analyzing again, aren’t I?

I’ll go back to singing along.

But in my mind, Lionel Ritchie is totally singing about Meatloaf.

Re-entering the Default World


Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen

–Gary Jules/Mad World


Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on

–Marvin Gaye/What’s Going On


Returning from a vacation is always challenging. Kind of a bummer. It’s always hard to get back into productive employee mode, even if you like your job, but some years it’s worse than others.

The year Mark and I went to Burning Man, 2001, was one of those years.

It is always weird coming back to the real world after Burning Man. A lot of Burners refer to it as coming back to the Default World. Not the real world, but…the one we’re sort of stuck with. The one that we inherited. Burning Man is a completely custom world, rebuilt every year. It is a wild, wild, mind-altering ride. When you spend a week where everybody lives in a sort of dream state made physical, it changes the way you view the world. It’s a lot like a hallucinogen. Even once you’re off the trip, your vision and memory still retain traces of what you saw and lived under the influence.

The week we returned from 2001 Burning Man, with the playa dust barely out of our hair, Mark got laid off from work.

Still reeling from the layoff, then came 9/11 and the whole country was turned upside down. The Default World, has never seemed more surreal than 2001. In a lot of ways, the Default World has still not recovered.


We went back to work yesterday.


I’m crossing my fingers.

The Default World still appears to be there.

We’ll see how the week goes.


Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

–Steve Miller/Fly Like An Eagle






Burningman art car 2000

Burningman 2000

Burningman 2000