Real-time update: This minute I’m at the main branch of the Phoenix Public Library. I’ve just typed the following message to Mike, the RemX agency liaison for ECS: “Mike, just to let you know: I have accepted a job at the airport. I want to keep working for RemX/ECS, but my only available day, near term anyway, is Tuesday.” And I’ve just thumbed the SEND key. With such mundane actions a life’s course diverts.

My new employer, SSP America, has fine-dining establishments in more than two dozen countries spanning the globe. I chanced on their Craigslist ad last week, waited my turn for an interview, and was hired on the spot for a cashiering position, which I learned yesterday was with Matt’s Big Breakfast, in Terminal 4 near the B gates, and past the security checkpoint. My previous post “certifiable” included an image of the Food Handler’s Certificate I was required to earn in order to get the job. And today I learned that “cashier” is only a partial description of the job.

But: it’s a job at SKY HARBOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Second busiest airport in the country, I’m told. And I’ve been in love with Sky Harbor since I was shorter than the countertop at Circle K where I plunked down my penny for Bazooka Joe bubble gum.

The real change in my life, I’m hoping, will be new fodder for my images, poetry and fiction. But for now I’m just savoring the two sweetest words in the English language: “You’re hired.”



Friends, I have not stopped drawing, but I have stopped drawing well. I have lost my groove. It will come back in time and with perseverance, but little I do lately is worth the second out of your life it would take to see it. Here are two that are of at least clinical interest:


Here is a near-disastrous foray into oil pastels and ink. It’s OK for the preservation of some ideas, but the execution is awful.



Here’s a sketch I did today in preparation of a possible collaborative effort, a children’s book inspired by that little girl who took a “runt of the litter” horse and won a hundred-thousand-dollar purse in harness racing. Many, MANY more sketches must follow it the effort is to be at all successful.

Back to the drawing board. It’s not that “I got nothin'”–it’s that “I got nothin’ good enough.” Luckily, for a while, I have Time. And it’s Time to get more Determination.


Here’s another story I’ve submitted to One of the puns was cheerfully lifted from an old READER’S DIGEST joke, but I trust I altered it enough not to infringe.

When Time Ran Out the Back Door

We were frozen. We had not run out of time, but Time had run out the back door of our virtual ranch-style home. We still perceived, because Time’s little brother, Minnit/r/2, kept a noneye on the room.

Ninety sortaseconds passed. Minnit/r/2 said, in his little piping voice, “I wonder what the dealio is. Must be dire. You guys are infrit if–”

But Time then strode back in, and we could breathe again. “Sorry, guy & gals. A black hole happened around. I was dilated to see it, but it gave me a little diss/torsion . . .” and as if to illustrate, Time did a little wavery wiggle.

Minnit/r/2 asked to be excused, and his brother said sure. “Just be back in yourself.”

To celebrate, we bellied up to the   space   bar.


O it may say DO NOT DISTURB
Or warn of kicking to the curb

Perhaps you’ll get a Just Say No
Portending Death — but on you go

Enduring tides & time & tax
Expose the Daemon — then relax

The name of the post is “opened box.” The eponymous acrostic looks like “OPE NED BOX” but the multi-acrostic conventions employed on this blog allow for word-spread across columns. If it makes you feel better, we’ll name the box-opener Ned.

Curiosity has gotten humanity into and out of trouble since before we the human race can remember.

Finally, an analogy intended to pique curiosity: “Pandora’s Box” is to this page what Ray Bradbury’s “Fever Dream” is to Greg Bear’s “Blood Music.”

headshot 102915

Today I and my steady girl Joy attended a memorial service for Harvey Rhodes, father of my classmate Charlie. It was held at Chapel of the Chimes, a Glendale AZ institution for many years.

I never met Mr. Rhodes that I can remember, but I’d say from what I saw and heard at the service that Charlie has in him many of the qualities that made his father a fine man. I was glad to learn more about Harvey, and a bit more about Glendale, by virtue of my attendance.

Perhaps incidental to this, I decided to dress up a bit for the occasion, and donned the same shirt and tie I’d worn at Dick Wilkinson’s service last month. Then as now I walked from my apartment to the service, and then as now–and now in sharper focus, informed by my previous experience–I found that I am treated differently–with more respect–when I am better dressed.

My usual garb might be described as Thrift-Store Yesteryear. I am comfortable in a polo shirt or t-shirt and jeans or shorts, and I skirt the edge of “business casual” at work. When I suit up I don’t exactly feel like an imposter–more like a partygoer at a masquerade.

But I do like the person people think I might be when I dress up–and my behavior notches up as well.

Perhaps incidental to this, while I was rummaging in my closet for what to wear, I found a pair of pants with a 36-inch waist that I bought when they were a little too small for me; then my weight ballooned and they were un-put-onable. How about now . . . is it remotely possible?

It is. They won’t really fit for another 10 pounds or so–the muffin-toppage is woefully laughable–but I am able to put them on, and I think by New Year’s Day they will fit comfortably. And I will be more comfortable in my skin, though it will be a little looser. “Relaxed fit,” you might say. :)

Rest In Peace, Harvey H. Rhodes.

Two days ago a scoundrel or scoundrels took the rear wheel of my locked bicycle, thus:


My reaction is only slightly burlesqued in the following regressive essay:


And the two words were not Happy Birthday (tip of the hat to Stephen King, who made me laugh with this setup and punchline, which I cheerfully stole, this being an essay on The Transformative Power of Theft).

I don’t like not having the use of my bike, and I can’t immediately afford to get it fixed or replaced right now. But there’s an upside of several facets. Foremost is that I’m quite accident-prone when on two wheels, and I have permanent road rash on my left forearm to prove it. The theft also got me the title to this essay, which I think is apt and spiffy, and for which an Internet search conducted just prior to writing does not show a match. (How ironic would that be, if the very title were stolen?)

And, of course, it IS transformative, theft: our whole lives see us robbed of a day of life per day, and sooner or later our various sources of enjoyment go with them. (A friend my age called me up and we swapped infirmities. “But I still have orgasms,” he said in a Thank-God voice.)

Pablo Picasso and Bob Dylan are famous for ransacking their respective genres for source material. It may be argued that they bring enough of themselves to the table to justify their pillaging, just as Shakespeare did, though of the three dozen or more plays he is thought to have written, only ONE of them, The Tempest, has an original plot. (See Pyramus and Thisbe among MANY others for an equivalent to Romeo and Juliet, for instance.)

The great Theft Book includes stolen  thunder, stolen kisses, Pirates of the Caribbean and of Silicon Valley and many other elsewheres, ghost writing (a more cooperative and symbiotic form of theft), taking Shorty-Cuts in line, aggressive panhandling, purveyance of self-destruction aids such as cigarettes, and on and on. We are all thieves, by some stretch. Henceforth I’ll strive to be a good thief. I will steal to achieve more good than harm. I hope. Most of the time.

Hey, can you spare me a change? I’m Tapped . . .


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