Post 36: Bad Influence

I used to say I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My parents were both against it. My dad said, “Kay, you don’t want to be one of those kooky artists.” Kooky! I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that word since it came out of his mouth. My mother was moreContinue reading Post 36: Bad Influence

Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!

Starting with my early writing, I decided to avoid using brand names if possible. To me it seemed to cheapen fiction. “She put on her tightest Levis, got into her Kia, and drove to the nearest Olive Garden.” See what I mean? Brands are just too pop. Would Dickens or Twain ever write a sentenceContinue reading “Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!”

Post 34: Loving Your Before and After

I. INTRO: FOUR DECADES I’ve lived at this property for nearly 41 years. It should be looking a little bit different by now, right? At the time we bought the house, I didn’t know anything about fixing up a home interior, and not much about gardening or landscaping in the desert, either. We had littleContinue reading “Post 34: Loving Your Before and After”

Post 33: Free Your Tea

Not much of a tea drinker? Don’t click away just yet. This post goes beyond tea. As my friend Keith let me know when I referred to my hot herbal drink as “tea,” true tea comes from the tea plant. The leaves of Camellia sinensis—a plant, shrub, or tree—have been consumed as a hot drinkContinue reading “Post 33: Free Your Tea”

Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff

My daughter’s house used to be trashed. I think she’d be the first to admit it. I mostly refrained from saying anything. It had a sort of “punk” look. You know, something like what my generation was hoping to convey with threadbare shirts, jeans that dragged in the dust, and—if we were old enough toContinue reading “Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff”

Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

My formerly green(ish) thumb has been gradually turning brown over the past few years. The seeds I plant don’t sprout. I’ve been working harder than ever to provide them good, organic soil, and I even have a new sprinkling attachment for the hose, so they get a gentle rain instead of pressured spray. I haveContinue reading Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

Post 29: The Compost Post

I’ve published a couple of teasers, here on this site, about composting. There was the ribbon that lasted for years, unchanged, at the bottom of the bin (Post 22, “Ribbons Are Forever”), and then the little sheets of plastic coating shed by a milk carton (Post 10, “To See the World in a Plastic Cap”).Continue reading Post 29: The Compost Post

Post 28: The Curbside Mall

This week’s post is a short photo essay, with notes. Lately I’ve been noticing an increasing number of people taking pictures of discarded stuff, both curbside and in alleyways. I suppose it’s because most of us are carrying a camera around in our phones these days, and it’s an easy way to record things—for laterContinue reading “Post 28: The Curbside Mall”

Post 27: Flat Is Beautiful

January 14 was my mother’s birthday. If she hadn’t died too young, at age 74, she would have been 105. (Somewhere there’s a scumbag who made it that far, I’m sure. That guy with the hood and scythe can be so unfair.) So I’m thinking of her. I’m thinking of the family vacations we tookContinue reading “Post 27: Flat Is Beautiful”

Post 26: An Unqualified Reviewer Takes On “Don’t Look Up”

During the holidays, with New Stuff Sucks on hiatus, I watched a documentary on Netflix. (Terry put me on his account. The free library service, Kanopy, would have been enough for me—but I’m not complaining.) The documentary was short, and I don’t remember what it was about. But when it was over, before I couldContinue reading “Post 26: An Unqualified Reviewer Takes On “Don’t Look Up””