In the ink well

Dog Ear

August 31, 2017

Rest (DOG EAR)

t’s been a tough couple of months. I suffered a month of nonstop overtime, only working or sleeping for five weeks in a row. And all this went largely unrecognized. Then there was the scare that I might have a degenerative disorder, something that might lead to my crippling or death. We had a train convention in town and I had to work like a dog to get us through that. And then my beloved cat’s kidney packed up, and we did everything we could (including painful things) to save her but failed, and ended up burying her in the […]
August 24, 2017

Backlogged (DOG EAR)

ne of the only positive things to come out of the last few weeks (while I watched my feline companion slowly wither to nothing, during which time I inflicted pain to hydrate her and endlessly bothered her to eat) was my reading. There were a number of things I did to escape from the tragedy taking place. When Mookie was awake and about, I’d tend to her and coo over her. But when she slept, I diverted myself. Writing? Not a chance. I couldn’t put two thoughts together (and the thoughts that I might have put together were darker than […]
August 17, 2017

Book Acquaintances (DOG EAR)

’ve mentioned this topic in the past but recently a bout of serendipity has brought it to the fore again. Once more, we discover the solidarity of readers. Event 1 – at the weekly get together at Juniors (not the place my wife and I go to lunch and read at on weekends but the pizza parlor the model train buddies meet at). Was sitting there talking to a couple of guys about Razor Girl, a crime novel I’d just finished. Suddenly Steve, an older guy (practical, levelheaded) tells me that he’s currently reading it too. That surprised me – […]
August 10, 2017

Lower than Whale Shit (DOG EAR)

eah, the cat. She’s hanging in there but it’s a heart-ripper all the same. Years back, I wrote every day at work. I actually wrote Indigoin my lunch breaks, and a lot of the half-way Tubitz and Mergenstein, as well. I’ve knocked out a number of erotic collections (yeah, for sale, and dollars legitimizes anything in America) – how strange to write about heaving sweaty bodies, her fingers reaching down to play him and coax him until he was as hard as a ram, while at the next table over a woman grinds at her kids on her cell for […]
July 27, 2017

Lettered Friends (DOG EAR)

acebook friends will know (and readers of this column have gotten a whiff of it), my cat Mookie is slowly fading. Every ounce we coax on, she slowly loses. Depression is the state of our world now, just my wife and I trying to get every last experience out of Mookie before she fades into the night. I suffer from occasional mild depression (the writer’s badge). And there is nobody to talk this through with. Train club buddies are sympathetic but that’s as deep as it goes between guys. Work? Don’t make me laugh. I go through days in my […]
July 20, 2017

The best possible cargo (DOG EAR)

m currently reading a recent SciFi tale, The Outback Stars, by Sandra McDonald. Yes, it’s part of a series (or so I figure, given the main character’s backstory) (or maybe not – I just checked and nothing is listed) but I’m not mired trying to imagine what took place before. Everything is pretty certain so it stands alone. That’s good. Nothing like coming in on the second act and not know who anyone is (or that Chekhov’s gun is sitting on the mantelpiece). Yes, a good read so far – watch for the review in a week or so. But […]
July 13, 2017

Carrying your pet book (DOG EAR)

y wife and I have a little ritual. Every Sunday at about 11:30am we walk a quarter mile (through quiet neighborhoods) to the little reborn strip mall. There, amid eclectic CD shops, yoga dens and cutesy boutiques, we slip into the seats at Juniors, an old throwback place with booths and even counter stools. And there, over omelets (with tabasco sauce) we’ll read our books. Yeah, it’s just our shared quiet time. We’ll talk about things on the walk over, and talk (generally) about our books on the way home. It’s just our freaky couples thing. But it struck me […]
July 6, 2017

Reading through tears (DOG EAR)

oyal followers of this blog might have noticed I’ve been spotty at late with my postings. Well, it’s because I’ve had horrible news, news that rocked me back. Our ten year old feline, Mookie, just suffered a kidney disorder. She’s still alive (just) – we’re having to coax food and water into her (and take her to the vet every week for hydration). And so this vivacious sleek friend, the little girl who rushed to the door to meet me after work, is now a withered thing, small and pathetic, disinterested in food. God, this is killing me. So today […]
June 21, 2017

Footnotes (DOG EAR)

’m reading The Man in the Iron Mask right now (kinda spooky in that I’m also watching Versailles at the same time). But Mask is a melancholy story – like our real lives, we have such passionate loves and friendships in our early years yet in the end, everyone is allied with their duties and occupations, with friendship a distant consideration. I even realized that with my best buddy on the phone last night – good friends for thirty years but a thousand miles, five kids and two spouses apart. All those long games and movie marathons – negated. And […]
June 14, 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the Late-Night (DOG EAR)

es, stories. It’s what connects us to entertainment, to meaning and memories. Father’s Day is rolling around, made less-so by the fact my dad has passed away a few years back, but more-so for the same reason. Now it’s no longer just a card. Now it’s about a personal storytelling observance. See, when I was a kid living on a base in the Philippines during the wind-down of the War in Vietnam, one night my dad invited me to stay up and watch a movie with him. I’d watched late-nighters with him in the past, generally being introduced to some […]