notapoet's notebook

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Working through the holidays

"Not working at a real job," as the Ex would have put it. To her a real job was one that produced a regular paycheck every week or two, depending on the employer's preference. Writing, except for newspaper and magazine staffers, is a profession marked by few and irregular paydays; and most of those... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good day, bad day

It's not a law of nature – but it sure as hell seems that way to an almost improbable degree. Day before yesterday I felt pretty good, was treated to an early Thanksgiving dinner, got a lot of work done, and capped the day with a late pizza supper while watching my beloved UNC Tarheels top Ohio... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving came early

A local church group provided an early Thanksgiving meal for residents of my apartment complex yesterday. It wasn't quite at the level of a good home cooked holiday meal, and I found myself dining with mostly strangers. The majority of residents pretty much keep to themselves. But it was much... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pursuit of a dream

I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month for the fifth year in a row, if I count 2005 when I signed up for the first time. It wasn't a very distinguished beginning. I did write a few thousand words that I never took credit for and called myself a fool for trying to write 50,000 words when... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, September 21, 2009

An interesting thought

Josh Billings said, “If a man is right, he can't be too radical; if he is wrong, he can't be too conservative.” Make of it what you will. As for myself, the problem seems to be in deciding what is right and what is wrong. Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock"

It was the classic rock song by Bill Haley & His Comets that caught my attention, got me up off my can, and turned me into a dancin' fool. Well, the "dancin' fool" part didn't come to full fruition until my late teens when I finally gathered up my youthful courage, quit worrying about how foolish I... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rest stop

“Hi, uh...this is Kelly,” the familiar voice of my daughter-in-law said. She didn't have to identify herself. I'd grown familiar with her voice on the phone, usually asking for something, over the years. This time would probably be no different. “Were you sleeping?” she continued. Another familiar... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The short version

Sometimes I get involved in extremely long posts that are far too long for most fellow bloggers to want to read. Condensing a few thousand words into a few hundred is more difficult than it sounds. So I sometimes break these long pieces into two or more parts. This time out, to tie up a loose end... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Well, hold me back!"

was the favorite expression of an old college buddy of mine. Whenever Mike was on a roll, hitting on all cylinders, and ready to whup ass he would say it. Of course he meant, “I'm smokin', get out of the way, and don't hold me back.” I have many fond memories of Mike, the kind of guy you'd love to... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, June 22, 2009


...are a good thing, aren't they? Good enough for Fleetwood Mac to make it to #1 on the pop charts with a song titled "Dreams." Good enough for 31 other artists to make it onto the charts with 40 different songs incorporating some form of the word dream into the first word of the title between 1955... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Looking Backward,

besides being the title of Edward Bellamy's famous utopian novel, is something we all tend to do. It doesn't take much to trip this popular pastime, particularly in a culture where it is possible to make a living at it. And there is no harm in it as long as we remain cognizant of the present and... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It’s a fine word and would have worked out neatly if I could have found a hit song with it featured prominently in the title. I would have even settled for the use of serendipity in the lyrics. Alas, remembering song lyrics was a strong suit of the Ex rather than the non-poet. The closest I could... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

“Bits and Pieces”

was the second big hit of the Dave Clark Five, one of the most successful groups of the British Invasion of the United States in the mid-Sixties. It, along with the group’s debut hit “Glad All Over,” was among my personal favorites in that formative period of my life. Coincidentally, it also... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

“Oops! I did it again”

…or something very much like that, if memory serves me correctly, was a somewhat prophetic hit for Brittany Spears before her extended fall from grace as a pop princess. I’m not positive because I don’t follow the triumphs and failures of today’s manufactured teenie pop superstars. I’m sure some of... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daybreak preceded the return of artificial light.

Intermittent dozing while wrapped in a quilt like a caterpillar in a cocoon got me through the first couple of hours without light. The sound of an engine warming up got me up long enough to see my son loading up the grandkids in his van. I knew he was going to drop the wife and kids at his... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

…then the lights went out.

Everything came to a silent halt, except for a few muttered expletives, and darkness prevailed. It wasn’t the total darkness of a windowless central room, but it was more dark than I wanted in the middle of a freezing cold night. Sitting in front of a window on a clear night I could feel the... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Just the word brings back memories of my high school years in small, and not so small American towns. It was a teen tradition of the fifities and sixties brought to screen life by the now classic film “American Graffiti.” The film subsequently inspired the small screen classic sitcom “Happy Days.”... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I saw the Ex yesterday.

I was at my son’s place bouncing my youngest grandson on my knee and generally having a good old time. She stopped by for a quick final visit of the year with the grandkids. She never stepped into the room. After a brief greeting to my son, who was bounching my next to youngest grandson on his knee,... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

White Christmas, Gone With the Wind, and the King of the Wild Frontier.

Although December 15 is about done for another year, I just couldn’t let today pass without getting these in: On this day in 1939 (just a little before my time), arguably the most anticipated motion picture premiere in cinamatic history, “Gone With the Wind,” premiered at Loew’s Grand Theatre in... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Today in 1959 was a very good day

…in the history of popular music and television. On November 29, 1959 The Grammy Awards appeared on network television for the first time. Television made up for missing the boat the previous year when the very first Grammies were awarded. I’m not positive I saw that first of what now stands at... Sign in to see full entry.

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