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(no subject) [Jul. 19th, 2011|03:10 pm]
an amateur historian


i remember being on the green river. it was early in the morning probably three days into the trip. i liked how the aluminum frame on new red boat allowed cameron to stand and row at the same time. secretly a group of us got drunk one night and it was suggested we liberate the rattlesnake the paleontologist captured in a pillowcase. there a botanist on that trip too. and my friend mr. call. like a dream anymore, these memories. everything fades into the distance.


decided to drive to the office this morning. not having the car registered yet leaves me at risk for a ticket though... and that's something i simply cannot afford these days. have been able to get a lot completed here though. spoke to the estate attorney this morning. he and i have been incommunicado since that hearing in richfield. i was left so deflated by what was said that i needed some time to recover. anyway, i do have an action plan though and can focus on completion i think in the coming weeks.
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(no subject) [Jul. 18th, 2011|08:38 am]
an amateur historian


chan marshall. introduced to me by a friend for her voice, the covers album is still my favorite.


it may seem like i'm not doing anything over the summer... i tend to work from home, rarely go into the office, often spend the hot days lazying around the house or out in the yard. but i do have a lot to do. and i have been dragging on my responsibilities lately. it's high time i pull it together and get some things done.
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(no subject) [Jul. 16th, 2011|02:24 pm]
an amateur historian


"...she thinks him, in his tent's darkness, to be half bird -- a quality of feather within him, the cold iron at his wrist. he moves sleepily whenever he is in such darkness with her, not quite quick as the world, whereas in daylight he glides through all that is random around him, the way color glides against color."


so over a number of years i've been juggling a number of creative endeavors and to tie them together somehow has been a challenge. to organize, stretch, connect--some of which being online--are all creative challenges in themselves. still trying to figure the experiment out.

may end up reinstating my fb, as much as i wouldn't like to. the trouble is that i'm required to, at least to some small degree, maintain some social networking presence for work. my job kind of dictates it, which is lame. but it can be an effective too, really. so what do i do? set up an altogether separate account for my office? i also have another blog i've created strictly for the honors program... though i have not really used it. i'm in the middle of putting together a sort of user's manual for the incoming honors students and these devices ought to be included. hm. anyway, just thinking.

was also able to review a lot of paperwork associated with the estate this morning. it's all just so overwhelming. another organizational challenge. i have to finish it though. with haste.

did any of you out there read 'the girl with the dragon tattoo'? curious what your thoughts are.
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(no subject) [Jul. 16th, 2011|09:27 am]
an amateur historian




"...setting aside the easy pursuit of digital perfection, ideal sans favors handmade forms that help it achieve different goals: warmth, craftsmanship, and humanity." more here.


the small dog is sitting on my lap snoring as i type this. el's mother came over last night. i made a thai curry, el did her mother's hair, and the two of them stayed up late chatting and watching a couple of queen documentaries. i retired early and ended up falling asleep with a book on my chest... i didn't hear el climb into bed with me.

i still want to see 'midnight in paris' at the cinema. i'm in terrible need of a good haircut. and a shave. and a wardrobe makeover. we're taking a road trip to yellowstone soon. will be camping with el's sister's family and a couple of her husband's friends. not entirely certain what to expect. i spend a lot of time in the outdoors but i'm usually either alone or with a load of students... it's not often that my special lady and i camp together. for spring break last year, i took a group of students canoeing down a mellow stretch of the green river for a few days. i was thrilled to have el join me thinking i might be able to display some feats of strength in the rugged outdoors. well, it turned out to be one of the most difficult trips i've ever lead. the weather was terrible, the students' spirits were low, a number of people nearly capsized their boats, and no one got naked... which is usually what happens when college students get out into the wild and on a river. never again will i do a spring break trip like that again. only in the fall. anyway, it'll be fun to hang out with the young boys again. maybe i can rewind the tapes and make the first impression again with the special lady when it comes to the outdoors. her sister's husband is kind of a gear head when it comes to this stuff. i'm willing to wager his friend is the same way... me? i'm not. i'm more old school.

el's at her aunt's house for a yard sale right now. i have the house to myself. i put a belle and sebastian album on and have already walked the dogs. it's going to be a sunny day. i like that.
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(no subject) [Jul. 15th, 2011|10:26 am]
an amateur historian


"...a novel is a mirror walking down a road," muses one of the characters, recalling stendhal, in michael ondaatje's book, 'the english patient'..."


been enjoying the morning with the dogs... went for an early walk and now they've found their places to relax. plan to make curry this afternoon. need to change the oil on the motor scooter this weekend if i can. i'd like to attack the final details of this estate business this weekend as well. calling the attorney today. making an appointment with the accountant this next week. can't believe this is still going on. must. close. this. summer. looking forward to a trip to hawaii in october. booked the hotel yesterday. also looking forward to this year's spep in philly. already arranged a gentleman's quarrel over pints with the director of emery's grad program.

nothing too interesting, true, but i'm attempting to get into a solid rhythm here. there are words i would like to use more often.
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(no subject) [Jul. 14th, 2011|12:31 pm]
an amateur historian


somewhere. this time and place no longer exists.


i will most likely cancel my netflix account. this saddens me. i set up something of a writing desk outside by the shed. so far, all i've done is sit out there on the old wooden chair enjoying the sun. had a long, enjoyable discussion with our veterinary doctor yesterday. we've both had old dogs in our own time... it's all very joyful and sad at the same time. i'm going to miss sabrina when she finally goes. she's been good company over the years.

i want to pain the kitchen. and the cabinets. i washed the dishes this morning. i folded the laundry. paid some bills. got the mail, made the bed, and watered the plants. was very happy to spend some time at red butte gardens the other day with some friends. we wandered and talked and shared some tea at the english tea house next to the london market. wouldn't mind stepping out for a pint today with mr. call, my teacher friend. no doubt he's spending a lot of these lazy summer days at home too.

years ago i made this journal private. the last few days i've begun to read some of those old entries and am now in the process of making them accessible again to my friends on here. so while i'm being partially public, for the most part, this journal is friends-only.
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(no subject) [Jul. 12th, 2011|10:15 am]
an amateur historian


the king's head cuff links given to me by lady bird. i wore these to my wedding.


it's raining. the house is quiet. the older dog is sitting in one of her places. over by the desk, next to the window, she sighs as she lies down. i feel for her. she's getting so old now... has a hard time walking anymore. i know the time is coming for her and it saddens me. she's been such good company over the years. i'm really going to miss her.

there's a lot i could be working on right now. things i've put off and procrastinated completion. some of this stuff has been like climbing a mountain... i'm at the top and i can see the summit but i'm so tired. reminds me of when dave and i climbed mt. whitney. we started at 4:00 am and ended up being on the trail for over 18 hours. i remember being at the top and moving so slowly. some dude threw up on the trail next to me. another fella in our group didn't make it. he kept changing his boots and fussing with his gear. i remember being light-headed and totally spent. i signed the book, took a few photos, peed, sat down for a bit, and immediately began making my way back down. anyway, with some of this work, i'm right at the top. i'm almost done. it's easily been the most difficult thing i've ever taken on in my lifetime. i'm so tired though.

so there you go. i sometimes don't want to do it.

what else is going on? the house needs a new roof. i've been doing all kinds of home repairs. i hung a hutch in the kitchen the other day. i tend to mow the lawn and do yard work on the weekends. i don't get to see el much with her working during the day and going to school at night. got to see some old friends last night and have some dinner with them, together, now that one of them lives nearby. we're growing some tomatoes in the garden box and i took down that lawrence of arabia tent we had. i want to give it to my father in-law. i'm reading a few books right now even though i've tried to avoid reading several things at the same time: a couple by philip k dick, the girl with the dragon tattoo, some comic books i used to read as a kid, and foucault's pendulum... which i've set down to take on in the future. too much. i still subscribe to the new yorker. my bicycle was stolen from the backyard the other night. i enjoy working from home. was actually thinking about taking the train down to the office today but decided not to in the end. i can do what needs to be done from here. the smaller dog is now laying at me feet. i finally figured out how to use the illustrator's pen tool and put together what i think is a pretty good logo for el's new business. i still need to complete the san francisco conference cfp. i don't want it to be cliche though and have been looking for imagery other than the golden gate bridge. still need to do some research and look over some past estate matters. pay some taxes. take care of some bills. ugh. i'd rather turn on the tour and lounge about. there's a netflix envelope on the coffee table: somewhere. wouldn't mind watching that too.
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(no subject) [Jul. 11th, 2011|12:23 pm]
an amateur historian


[original image not my own.] on warm summer days i can often be found sitting ont he porch reading a book.


i don't care much for facebook. i don't think i ever really have. anyway, i deleted it. livejournal, on the other hand, hasn't been so bad for me over the years. truthfully, if i were to choose, i think i would still prefer paper and a pencil over everything else... but here i can post an image. i can clean things up and sharpen the look. the handwriting can actually be read here. not that i'm into people reading my diary either... but facebook didn't really offer what it was i was interested in. i don't know--presentation? not to mention, i haven't written in so long. i write, but not the way i did back then. it's good practice for me and i think i enjoyed musing on various things i'd encounter during the day.

it's true: i tend to wish i were living in the past. i find myself often thinking 'back then i'd _______ [insert verb here]' and more than not, writing is one of those things... and not even writing. maybe it's reading too. maybe it's following what people are up to outside of facebook. i admit that my writing changed when i started livejournal. that was a few days more than ten years ago. facebook then changed the way i kept a diary. i have my own computer now. i'm married. i have a house and a yard and i can write outside.

i like that.

i've found that ony a few of the people i used to follow on lj still post regularly. who knows, maybe i can get into a groove again. maybe i can gather up all those old posts and review. while i do still wish to live in the past, maybe getting back on top of my day the way i used to will help me live in the now again.
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(no subject) [Oct. 20th, 2009|08:30 pm]
an amateur historian


memories do tend to fade. i sometimes forget your face and the way you looked at me with that smile.


the gentleman's quarrel with hau couldn't have gone better. out on the station's porch with that view of the navajo sandstone valley, a yellow ribbon of trees lining the creek's curved path, we traded tobacco and smoked our pipes in the orange light of the early evening. we lazily discussed overpopulation, lucid dreams, students who struggle with the idea of god, environmental ethics, buying a home, highlights of the trip and struggles we've needed to overcome. karl gave a fine astronomy presentation and larry taught a creative writing workshop. the lesson: pay attention. that night we did a poetry reading and discussed. one student performed a dance. my god, it was an extraordinary trip. it was an extraordinary group of students. it was fine company.

now, day after tomorrow, i'll be taking some students out into the middle of nowhere for three days for an archaeology internship. we'll be camping and the nights will be frigid. the days may be sunny but there'll be work to do. i think i have my menu down and will be buying food tomorrow. this should probably be the last camping excursion before winter. i may get to see david sedaris when i get back saturday afternoon. we'll see.
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(no subject) [Oct. 14th, 2009|02:12 pm]
an amateur historian


the tyranny of the actual begins. -philip roth


got to step out for a lunch with a dear friend. we used to get out together more often... used to enjoy a beer together and talk about what was on our minds at the time: zen poetry? identity? log cabin republicans? the time traveler's wife? handwriting? the selections of cheeses offered at the local market? presocratics? john? how to fix the swamp cooler? garlic? money troubles? coffee? our youth? protocol and language?

anyway, you name it and there's no doubt we'd once taken a moment to hold hands with it and talk about it for a while. it's always good for me to be able to spend time with friends like him. he's inspired creativity in me and i've looked up to him. i'll raise a glass to him whenever i can anymore.

so what else? it's been something of a quiet day. none of the students are hanging out in the lounge. my coworker decided she'd work from home today. i'm going to take a walk through campus in a bit. i really like this tie i'm wearing. i need to have these shoes resoled. i think i may have had a little too much wine last night. i remember el asking me to quiet down a little... i must get loud when i have too much wine. oh, what else. it was ryan's birthday and we had him and some old neighbors and friends over for dinner. our new dining table was delivered while we were sitting down to eat. el gave the two fellas fro rc willey some food to take with them and ryan seemed genuinely pleased with the homemade carrot cake... i like that. we listened to travis and i burned a disc and the asparagus and potatoes were really quite good. the company was really quite good. the house was alive and breathing heavily.

headed to capitol reef national park tomorrow. honors is taking about 22 students down to the field station over fall break for some astronomy, hiking, creative writing workshops, and some good food. we are so going to bond. i'm exited to hang out with hau, the station manager... he's said i should bring my pipe and that we are to have a gentleman's quarrel on the porch. should be a good time, no doubt.
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(no subject) [Oct. 13th, 2009|11:34 am]
an amateur historian


there are things i don't remember.


got a ride to campus with a couple of english professors this morning... we talked about journals and scrap booking and identity and how weird it is that we actually put these things together--our own life stories--essentially for others to see. rather than actually experiencing a moment we photograph and document the moment instead. hmmm. i recommended the movie 'the following'. rather than stopping to think about what i am to write next, i kind of just want to release what's on my mind and be random n shit. i wonder what i would have been if i had lived a previous life... a man of the sea? a poet? a deer? i was able to readdress the honors program website and application form and fact sheet and trifold and performance review... it was a good weekend. i got a lot done. there should be storms tomorrow. we're having guests for dinner tonight. i need to have this jacket dry cleaned. i'm reading about hegel right now and he's kind of blowing my mind.
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(no subject) [Oct. 12th, 2009|10:38 pm]
an amateur historian


a secret order must have many secrets. look closer.


i began a entry for this diary months ago. i began with "ah, the dog days of summer..." well, now it's feeling more like autumn. the leaves are changing and there's a chill in the air. i'm taking the train to work more often these days. i still think it's funny whenever i hear the word 'ballroom'. i still write but not as much as i used to. i still like the old songs. the first frost made me sad... we lost our tomatoes. i like my office. i love my job. there are a lot of people i care for deeply i can see every day if i want. my routines are shifting. i'm more protective of my time. i've become something of a voracious reader and i enjoy being at home. i meant to mow the lawn this afternoon but watched 'curb your enthusiasm' with friends instead. i still like to know how you're doing. i hope you're well. el looks very pretty in her new glasses. i love her cheekbones. there really is not much more to say. we just took a carrot cake out of the oven and the house smells more like home.
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(no subject) [Jun. 10th, 2008|02:35 pm]
an amateur historian


there is a light that never goes out... burning a hole inside of me.


sat through shaw's ethics class today. he was closing out the kierkegaard 'fear and trembling' lectures with and moving into nietzsche's 'genealogy of morals' by bringing in that fantastic epilogue where heraclitus and the unity of opposites comes in and it looks like everything has been tied together so well. holy crap, it's good to be back on campus. i sat there bewildered and mystified and tried to take it all in... i was awash. you know, i wish i had the ability to say beautiful things. i wish i heard them more often. and yes, i wish they were about me. i hate having my photo taken. i plan on dressing well come fall semester. like, with ties n shit. i've had a terrible time sleeping for the last while. i thought i had the problem kicked with that melatonin the good doctor recommended but now it's back and it seems to be loaded for bear. there's sadness. there's anxiety. there's fear. remember that rem album 'automatic for the people'? i like that. i just phoned up my mom to say hello. since my dad passed away and i took over the estate there has been a lot of unspoken tension between my siblings and mom and me. tired of their second-guessing, i stopped telling them what i'm up to. yes. there's sadness. there's anxiety. i'm trying to be patient selling the house. i'm trying to be patient in dealing with these businesses. i'm trying to be patient with my accountant and attorney and i haven't heard back from my aunts who said they were going to sue me. i like that pork and beans weezer video. i picked up the unabridged journals of sylvia plath again. and nicholson baker's size of thoughts. i was told today that i am not handling my flickr account well. i'm more relieved now that i have been able to sit down and peck away at this shit... to get this off my chest and onto the proverbial sheet of paper. i'm feeling much better. thank you for your time. you may now return to your local programming.
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(no subject) [Jun. 4th, 2008|10:24 am]
an amateur historian


"All writing is garbage. People who come out of nowhere to try to put into words any part of what goes on in their minds are pigs." --Artaud


I was sitting in my office the other day reading an old copy of the New York Times and trolling through the obituaries, I saw that Anthony Minghella had died. I clipped the included image and pasted it into my diary. I sat there for a long time, quietly, staring at the picture... This image--this film and Michael Ondaatje and its story... All of them have a history. And it's sad. And tragic. And deeply personal to me and thoughtful too... and seeing this and reading the words about him: his "careful eye for cultural and historical detail" gave me pause. Hmmm... Yeah, so I really liked this guy.
"The son of parents who made ice cream on the Isle of Wight off the coast of England, Mr. Minghella used expansive tastes in literature and deep visual vocabulary to make lush films with complicated themes that found both audiences and accolades."

And then, later, Sydney Pollack dies. And he's quoted in the Minghella obituary too.
“He was interested in the magic,” Mr. Pollack said. “Not fake magic, like hiding the ball under the cup, but real magic, the kind that occurs between people. Nowadays, everybody making movies wants to get the clothes off fast and the guns out quick, he was just the opposite. He was interested in the poetry, lavishing the viewer with story, and scope and richness. Look at what you got for your $12 ticket with Anthony.”

“There was a real authenticity to his work,” Mr. Pollack added. “He made movies about the world that we live in, where stuff happened that no one could have anticipated.”

Well, shit.

And there are so many things I would like to talk about--things that have been on my mind that I haven't said to anyone. I've just been writing about them in my little book--keeping it all to myself. I wonder if its healthy or not... and then there's the part of me that doesn't mind so much.
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(no subject) [Feb. 25th, 2008|11:26 pm]
an amateur historian


chip kidd could have done better with the cormac mccarthy cover for 'no country for old men.' seriously: i am one who will sometimes judge a book by its cover and while i've liked kidd's stuff in the past, this time the back actually looks better than the front. there, i said it.


anyone remember being told to open a book--any book--to page 69 and finding something sexual? what the hell was up with that? and giving a girl a gum wrapper where the foil had been peeled away? i'm not lying. i was told that you give a girl what amounts to nothing more than a thin piece of tin foil and she will kiss you.

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(no subject) [Feb. 19th, 2008|03:28 pm]
an amateur historian
[Current Music |Belle & Sebastian - Act Of The Apostle]



5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144
6 10 16 26 42 68 110 178
7 11 18 29 47 76 123 199


well, it has been a while now... i still read quite a lot. i don't read the paper as much anymore though. right now i've got my old high school paperback of william golding's 'lord of the flies' sitting here on my desk next to me. i would wear a clip-on tie without remorse. i plan on getting shitfaced drunk tomorrow night. i am not looking forward to cleaning up the accumulated poo sabrina's left in the backyard. i've been eating a lot of honey roasted peanuts at work. i actually work out these days. like, with weights and stuff. i had vivid dreams of the future the other night. and spinning around in circles too... something to do with the future, i guess. secretly i am both excited and disappointed with some upcoming movies... at the same time. i loved 'juno' and would recommend you see it too. we'll talk about it. what's the deal with that bloated feeling i feel after having a beer anymore? there are some facts that i think i just need to accept. still trying for that university position... still waiting to see how it goes. there are a lot of people who bug the crap out of me. most of them i don't know by name.
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(no subject) [Jan. 7th, 2008|04:40 pm]
an amateur historian
[Current Music |The Beach Boys - Caroline No (Mono Version)]



"In a sense, of course, I understand that everything is my own--in the way we are known for the stories we choose to tell or the art we keep in our living rooms. What follows is offered in the spirit of someone open and vain enough to let you into his house. It's possible that a part of him always had you in mind." -Stephen Dunn, p.22


i had a dream the other night of a talking rabbit wearing a bowler hat and smoking a pipe. he turned to my and took the pipe out his mouth. he didn't say anything which makes me wonder why i thought he could talk. i remember thinking how good i thought the rabbit looked in that bowler hat. and whether or not that pipe he had was mine... that maybe he took it from my bookshelf at home.

well, i haven't lost my mind. that's cool.

i've been paying attention to the presidential debates lately and am more annoyed than i thought i would be at this point. yeah, i know: already. how about that ron paul, though... interesting cat, that fella.

what's up with the saying, "i let the cat out of the bag"? anyway, i think i did that the other night. i'm regretting spending the evening alone at home on new year's eve. i should have gone to the party in pleasant grove, goddamnit. there are few times i want to be sitting here in my office less than i do right now. my feet are so cold. i got an unexpected letter the other day from an old friend i haven't seen in a long long time. this left me feeling full of joy. i have yet to write him back. i'm reading a lot of books these days. i haven't been buying much. what is today? monday?
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(no subject) [Dec. 28th, 2007|03:52 pm]
an amateur historian


you've got to lie to stay halfway interested in yourself. novelist barry hannah said that. take it as you may, i'm going to apply it to this here journal. (and sigh).


been a while. i cut myself shaving while getting ready for work day before yesterday. just under, almost inside the right nostril. el had already left for the day. sabrina was standing outside the open bathroom door, head half-cocked, watching me. earlier, i had taken two asprin. it wouldn't stop bleeding for a long part of the day. i ordered my coffee while holding a wadded piece of toilet paper to my face, spotted red where i had taken it off and then reapplied. my styptic pencil gave it a good painful try too but only left me blinking away the welling tears. remembering an old friend's girlfriend actually snorting one of these thinking it was drugs he was hiding from her made me pause for a moment. and smile. who in their right mind would do something like that?

meanwhile... listless. wickenden? you going to that new year's party on the other side of your yard? i'm debating it. i'd like someone i can hang out with to be there. you'd fit the ticket if you could dig it. and i'd like you to be there if i do end up going.

anyway. yes.
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(no subject) [Oct. 5th, 2007|08:57 am]
an amateur historian
[Current Music |The Hives - Abra Cadaver]



"I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life." Leo Tolstoy, "Family Happiness"


i noticed while walking out to my car this morning that there's a pile of dog poo on our sidewalk in front of the house. i've set the sprinklers to water every other day. at ten. the office: holy crap. caught my sister smoking a hooter in our mom's basement the other day leaving me feeling less at ease about her taking care of my cancer-stricken father. now i've found out he's getting twenty-four hour care. i love these new black socks... they're thin and they don't ride down my calves. perfect for smart shoes. i asked for three shots of espresso to be thrown in with my 20 oz coffee this morning. in provo, we'd call it a 'meltdown.' here in the big city, they call it a 'shot int he dark.' i like 'meltdown' better, i think. my mom's dog, keiser soze has been having seizures and we're all concerned for him. he should be getting his blood work back today. i submitted my resume to an agency the other day and have lost some sleep over its lackluster. i wish i had spiced it up a little more, if that means anything. good hell. um, el's leaving town this weekend and i'm gutted i can't be joining her. this will be the second weekend in a row that i'm alone at home. i'm on deadline though and will really need to get this magazine done. and so, yes. i'm wearing a tie today. i think i'm going to take a long lunch and drive down to see my dad.
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