creative retirment

you know what sucks about grad school?

I haven’t been able to read for pleasure in 4 years. It will be at least another two before I’m done. Oh, I read novels, sure. I read them on winter break or on summer nights when I can afford it and I manage to hold the anxiety about publishing off for a week or so. But even then, I read literature that I’ve been told to read. I read Proust, Stendhal, or Joyce. I choose these because some wise professor with good taste has told me that they are the literary manifestation of an idea I’m developing in my dissertation. EVERYTHING is subordinated to the goal of this one passport into a dying world that doesn’t really have room for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Stendhal. I like Proust. But I want to read the fucking LOTR, or Harry Potter, or the Outlander series. I want to read the books of my childhood and see them from the perspective of my adulthood. I want to read more Milan Kundera, I want to read that Cheryl Strayed novel that become the film that moved me to breathless tears. I want to peruse fan fiction these days. I want to read with frivolous abandon, a beach novel, a romance or detective plot that will never, couldn’t ever be used in some erudite conversation about Heidegger. I want to read for the joy of language and the awesome power of the human imagination to become worded in the absence of sensations save those it produces from within.

I know this is kind of obnoxious. How nice not to have time for reading because I’m too busy reading. Cry me a fucking river, right? But I’m pissed because it shouldn’t have to be this way. Culture becomes stratified in all kinds of competely arbitrary ways. the fact that I feel guilty spending reading time with something that hasn’t been mentioned in the Continental Philosophy Review within the last 20 years is a sign that something is deeply wrongly in academia.

That’s it. My completely bratty tantrum for this week.

NBA Player Retires in Cool New Video

The Players Tribune has been killing it with content lately. Check out their latest video featuring the Milwaukee Bucks’ Larry Sanders announcing his retirement. The video provides a candid look at the pressures of being a pro athlete and why he’s decided to leave the NBA. Good luck, Larry. 

A Little Red Wagon ~

A Little Red Wagon ~

I was a deprived child.  I did not have a little red wagon of my own.  I did, however, have shiny metal roller skates with a key. So I guess that makes up for it.

I don’t know if the two grown-up kids in this video were wagon deprivedin their youth or not, but to me they are two shining examples that there is still a little “kid” in each of us no matter how grey hair our hair or how many wrinkles…

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My #WDS2014 Adventure ~

My #WDS2014 Adventure ~

You are never too old to indulge in a wee bit of World Domination!  That was my thinking anyway when I attended #WDS2014 aka The World Domination Summit - a multi-day gathering of 3000+ lively, creative and inspiring souls who traveled from all across the globe to connect in downtown Portland Oregon for the fourth annual iteration of this very cool event.

Super Hero

WDS was on my bucket list and…

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Senior Living Game-changer?

This could be a senior living game-changer.

A brilliant idea in inter-generational living has blossomed into the thriving community of Bridge Meadows.

Bridge Meadows, which opened in Portland in 2011, is home to three generations of residents: low income seniors who receive discounted rent in exchange for volunteering 10 hours a week; foster children; and the families who are in the process of…

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Aging with Attitude ~

Aging with Attitude ~

It’s not your age.  It’s your attitude.  Isn’t that what they say?

Well, I’ve got plenty of attitude and some days its not the attitude of gratitude I’ve been striving for.  Some days I just feel old.  And tired.  And really tired of working for a living.  I’m the last of my peers to still be chained to a desk and while most of the time I am extremely grateful for the job and the paycheck,…

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Bird's Eye View ~

Bird’s Eye View ~

A bird’s eye view ~ More adventures in house sitting on a vineyard.

They flitted in and out claiming their time at the bird feeder hanging just outside the big kitchen window.  Some politely took their turn, others muscled their way right in, while a few hovered on the railing below waiting for a break in the action.

Early each morning and late into the evening I perched myself on a stool by…

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House Sitting in The Country ~

House Sitting in The Country ~

I am currently enjoying the best house sitting assignment ever - on a vineyard overlooking a beautiful valley right in the heart of Oregon wine (and farm) country.  On a clear day, you truly can see forever.

For ten days of chicken wrangling, bird feeding, garden watering and loving-up a grey-haired-handsome-boy-kitty named Winston, I am living la pura vida in the hills of Dundee.  I am also…

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Weird Weekend Encounter ~ Oregon Style

Weird Weekend Encounter ~ Oregon Style

Keep Portland Weird!

Drive down any street in Portland and you will see these words proudly displayed on the bumpers of passing cars.  Being weird ain’t easy.  You have to work at it as hubs and I learned this weekend.

We only dress this way on the weekend.

We weren’t in Portland, but had driven out to one of my favorite small farm country towns, McMinnville.  Nonetheless, weird was proudly on…

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Magic Moments ~ a photo essay

Good news!

We saw the sun in Oregon this week.  Several times.  And it was glorious.  I was inspired to get out and walk, walk, walk.  That is always good news.  Even better, I just started a new online photography class and although I’m still using my tiny point and shoot camera, it’s been so much fun to once again slow down and wait for the every day magic to appear.   One of our lessons this…

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Create Your Roving Retirement ... Five Fun Ways to Kickstart Your Dream

Create Your Roving Retirement … Five Fun Ways to Kickstart Your Dream

“Listen to the Musn’t’s child, Listen to the Don’t’s. Listen to the Shouldn’t’s, the Impossibles, the Won’t’s. Listen to the Never Haves, then Listen close to me. ANYthing can happen, child, ANYthing can Be.”
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999);Poet, Songwriter, Musician

Maybe you were one of those 20 year old free spirits who stuffed everything they could into an over-sized backpack and set out to see…

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Not Your Mother's Retirement ~

Last Fall I was invited to be a contributor in yet another book on retirement.  Goodness knows I’ve done enough research to call myself an expert on ways to retire and live La Vida Cheapo, but when the good folks at Seller’s Publishing came calling on this new book, Not Your Mother’s Retirement, they seemed to think maybe I was one too. They asked me to contribute an article called Just a…

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