Observant BF

Watching the National Parks Series:

“That guy…his beard… I mean he has to think he actually IS John Muir.”

“I guarantee if we look him up online he has a one man show.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m trying to focus.”

“If we google Lee Stetson One Man Show… it will come up. I KNOW PEOPLE THAT LOOK LIKE THEY HAVE ONE MAN SHOWS."

“Oh. Look:



Passport Proof

…of my love for the National Parks:


NPSpassport_midweststamps NPS_JoshuatreeSTAMPTURTLE

I don’t care what anyone thinks of Ken Burns, tonight is the night.

Getcher own passport!


Corporal Paddlement

Today, in a little educator orientation, I found out that DeSoto County Schools have a corporal punishment discipline system.  They just brushed over that fact like, “listen, it’s the south,” and moved on to the school’s cell phone policy. Try all you want, it is impossible to forget how truly, deeply strange mandated butt-paddling-for-punishment is.  My elementary school principal, whom the school was named after, had a red perforated rectangular wooden paddle in her office. The threat of getting paddled was often used to get kids to be quiet during assemblies. Most of our K-5 conversations were intense evaluations of how much it actually hurt. There were always rumors about the one boy that didn’t cry and it made the principal so mad that she hit him until his butt fell off and an ambulance (a rare sight in my one stop-light town) had to take him away.  B says nothing like that went down where he grew up in California, even in the seventies. And I say well look what a bunch of free-running-self-indulgent freaks came out of that joint.

Also, we saw Jerry Lawler campaigning on the corner of Poplar and something.. near Spin Street. B was impressed because Jerry L was standing outside, waving and reaching out to the people in the pouring rain. And I said well don’t be too impressed, it has been raining for ten days straight. This is true. He had to get out sometime before the election, if he waited for the rain to stop it would be time for him to run for prez 2012. Hey-Yo! I took a picture of the mayoral rain campaign. It is blurry and I will post it tomorrow.

And the last item of note is that we had a broken-hearted house guest for nearly 30 hours this week, he drove down from Chicago to sleep on our air mattress and then left after eating one of our mini drumsticks. We couldn’t really do much for him except say stuff like, “god doesn’t give you anything he isn’t not trying to punish you for.” and “whatever doesn’t kill you, probably will later” and “when god shuts one door, a levee breaks” and “everything happens for no reason at all.” And that, I truly believe.

I hope the thought liberates you all.


Thinking About My Wordhord

Essentially what I do here on KayeKillA, besides explore a humanity above and beyond the reigning civilization, is really – a disciplined practice of the unadulterated unleashing of my wordhord, no matter how smalltownpublicschooled it may be.

Speakers of Old English referred to the words they knew as their “wordhord.” In OE poetry, a common expression meaning “He spoke” is “He unlocked his wordhord.” Those linguistic ancestors of ours saw vocabulary for the treasure that it is. (dailywritingtips.com)

Every so often I like to challenge myself to use words other than “awesome” when describing a trip or a movie or a book to friends and strangers. It is an easy lazy habit to fall into, this “awesome” habit (awesome’s close friend “AMAZING” has taken over most of my friends vocabularies).

But lame words = lame life.

It is time to spice things up people. For the rest of the year join me – and use some other phrases than, “amazing” and “can’t get my head around it.” Kick them out of your wordhord.


In other tips for tough times...

…don’t read Knut Hamsun’s Hunger or  Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath if you are in the middle of looking for work or trying to make your way in the world.  It will reveal the deep dark parts of self-doubt and fears that you hadn’t even worried about yet. But it won’t be cool. It isn’t like listening to sad songs when you just got dumped because there is something deeply meaningful and wistful and nostalgic and noble about heartbreak. Completely unlike starving to death because you accidently got a degree in fine art and you got a rash the last time you wore bizz casual slacks.


When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

You are only a fool as much as you believe the affirmations you tell yourself. The reason you still don’t feel so great is that you haven’t found enough examples of people having it worse off than you. Or maybe you have been going overboard with that – you aren’t going to feel better if you think about bombing victims and orphanages, get with it – are you trying to get a bleeding ulcer or something?

You need to call your friend in Michigan and make fun of the people they overheard at the mall:

“I seen some dinner plates here last week, they were pink with the blue flowers – the peeenies, do you still have them?”

“I don’t recall… do you know if they were in our Indian Summer Sass collection?”

“Well, I seen them right there on the shelf back there. That’s where I seen them last week.”

Hahaha. How hilarious. Seen. Don’t you feel better? You would never say anything like that. You may be losing your mind. But not your grammatical sensibility.

I call this: schlechtegrammatikfreude


LA Lady Stories


I read this article while waiting in my acupuncturist’s (it was LA – everyone had one) office two years ago and the story of Douglas Anne Munson is still with me most of the time. I suspect that my emotional state after reading about her demise was permanently pinned into the sides of my knees and the skin between my thumb and index finger (placement of the needles that day, recommended for migraines and people with flex spending accounts) and since I use my thumb and index finger a lot I get shocks of anxiety and a feeling of destitution along with an intense urge to write mysteries. 

I was thinking about ol’ Mercedes while hunting for some unrelated Los Angeles information when I came across this blog entry from Theresa Duncan’s blog – it caught my eye because she used an Elmore Leonard quote, “Los Angeles Is Detroit With Palm Trees” – I remembered reading about her that same summer two years ago when I was getting stuck with skinny pins – about how she and her boyfriend committed suicide within two weeks of each other and thought that scientologists were after them (internet analysis gathered from unreliable blogs and sloppy new sources). But it wasn’t the tragic end of her career and life that I remembered the most, it is that through all of the stuff written about her after her death, she was accused of lying about her age, and education, they had to question whether or not she worked at Marwil Bookstore in Detroit. That I remember because I used to get my textbooks there.

I’d search the internet for inspiring stories about happy talented women in Los Angeles but they are hard to find, when I do stumble across something I will be sure to get to an acupuncturist immediately after reading to seal in the warm fuzzies and replace the dark pits of despair.

In case you need: more quotes about Los Angeles.

Or a: pick me up.

We Could Have Been Rubber Tappers

Being in the midst of a job search is discouraging, self-involved and desperate - much like a blog. I boycotted Labor Day and pretended to work all day Monday. I did what I used to do at my most of my previous legitimate jobs -- searched craigslist for free bikes and funny missed connection ads. Like a regular work day, nothing I did felt satisfying. It has been getting to me, my condition of unemployment (and all those mis-connected people). I don't worry about stuff very often but every ninth night or so I stay awake and imagine just where this downward spiral of my meandering career ambitions is taking me (please note the galactic-talent-guided arrow of my artistic life is still guided straight to unfounded heights of eternal cultural impact - nothing has changed in that arena, I just need expensive haircuts).

I noticed that these nightanxiety thoughts inevitably lead to worrying about car insurance, which my little sister tells me is also where her worries eventually end up. Even troubles seemingly unrelated, "Is he cheating on me? Will I be able to afford car insurance?" or "Is the cancer coming back? Will GEICO find out?" or "I only have PLPD! What will I put on job applications when they ask, Do you have car insurance?" And so it goes, maybe it has something to do with our father being a drivers training instructor and an extremely sensible man.

Further, I believe that it makes sense that my concern for the car, the last bastion of hope, mobility, and independence is the root of all my worries. An uninsured car, is an unsure life.

It is a racket though, all of it. Car insurance, job applications, drivers training... Henry Ford would have 1) Laughed at my troubles and 2) Never hired me because I'm not good at housekeeping and obviously a communist subversive. I know this after finishing Fordlandia, on Labor Day evening of all days. Reading about the enslavement of factory workers and rubber tappers in the Amazon should have put my at-least-I-have-a-roof-over-my-head situation in perspective but instead succeeded in depressing me to no end about the effects of industrial globalization on world economy, labor, and my fruitless search for employment and enslavement to western culture and social approval. 

I have a three options:  


It’s not my birthday but look what I got this past week:

P1200808 P1200816


The above item is indeed a portable book light! The Mighty Bright. I’m moving into advanced adulthood with minimal glare and a scorpion in my mouth. Thanks BB.


Roads Taken


A general outline of places I’ve driven, not including Mexico & France.


Road Trip Research Expert

Three on Thursday - top of my list for road trip research:

For all the oddball stuff you can handle, check out: ROADSIDE AMERICA. Their Map-A-City feature is the greatest thing to happen to the internet.

I’ve found some interesting restaurant suggestions on Roadfood.com – if you upgrade to a special membership you can create MAPS of eateries along your road trip route.

And of course, The National Scenic Byways site is a must.


When Pepsi Came With Maps

I found this in “my archives” during the Michigan visit:


The Yes M!ch!gan Map!

Oh, I remember when soft drinks used to come with maps. I remember a couple weeks ago, sundown in the deep south, when my Verizon Wireless Navigator was bugging out on us and we had to use last years atlas to get us back on the highway.

In case you haven’t caught some of my previous posts - I love maps. I love maps of malls, museums, battlegrounds, college campuses, and airports. I have a habit of saving them and it makes for a cluttered life. I would scan and put them in digital storage but you know how small scanner beds are and how big maps can be.

This has been a lifelong interest and I find that like wine, maps get better with age. Think old globes, think USSR, think colonialism.

I like the idea that something we see as a factual reference document can turn to a piece of radical disinformation in a matter of years.

Just look at THIS MAP JACKPOT OF A SITE  and see how people used to think California was an island. I think we may rediscover that they were right in 2012.

What I really like is to combine my map obsession with my commitment to snail mail so I am always on the lookout for postcard maps. I found this postcard at a BP in Indiana recently:


Apparently it is from The Hoosier Heritage Quilt. I found that out at Indiana University’s Historic Maps of Indiana Site.  Cool, huh?

I guess you have to be a map nerd.