Saturday, September 3, 2011


What I do right now: playing Scrabble, directing the local Scrabble club and tournaments, writing and recording music, practicing drums and vocals, meditation, work, exercise, spending time with family and being Uncle Geoff to a number of recently born individuals, reading (nonfiction mostly), blogging, reading Scrabble- and pro sports-related sites and Facebook/Google+, learning math and languages, taking walks, eating restaurant food, patronizing my local convenience store too often, drinking beer (less lately, which is wise), sleeping. That's plenty.

Still live in a small one-bedroom apartment, which is more than enough. Almost never have company. I've never had or wanted a pet. No TV, no video game system. Very rarely see a movie; I much prefer comedies when I do. Never listen to the radio. Don't read a daily paper or visit news sites online very often. I believe that while the ever-present news cycle is not a bad thing in itself, it's good for one's happiness to check in on it rarely.

My entire list of furniture: double bed, two card tables, two folding chairs. I own fewer than twenty books. Enough clothes to get me through a week in winter or summer, and one suit that doesn't fit me so well as it did ten years ago, but not much more. My music collection, to the extent people even need music collections these days, is almost entirely mp3s. I don't collect anything else. I have a rickety laptop, a netbook that mostly is used for Scrabble club and on trips, an iPhone I just got and an iPod that I'll probably move along soon. Music equipment: digital recorder, electronic drum kit, keyboard, electric guitar, 6-string acoustic, 12-string acoustic, a bass, a saxophone (can't play it in the apartment though, too loud), a microphone, small studio speakers, small guitar amp. It all gets used. My Toyota Camry is from 1993, has almost 230,000 miles on it and rocks a lovely array of cosmetic deficits, but it has air conditioning and gets me where I need to go most of the time. (I recently looked into upgrading in the transportation department, and I'll have to write another entry about that. Bizarre.) I own almost nothing I haven't just mentioned, and that's how I like it.

I attach sentimental value to an object extremely rarely - a thing is a thing is a thing to me. By far my longest-tenured possession is a ratty blue plastic giveaway tote bag with the American Health Care Association emblem on it, from a convention held in Hawaii in late 1974. My father worked for the AHCA at the time and so he and my mother went there and gave us (me, four, and my little brother Brian, two) these tote bags when they got back. All sorts of things have been stored in the tote bag over the years: little kids' let's-play-dress-up clothes, baseball cards, bad poetry, cheap cassettes with songs taped off the radio, hidden cigarettes and dope, tangled guitar cables, old music magazines, love letters, Scrabble books. There's nothing in it now; it just sits on the floor of my closet, as it has since near the back border of my memory. It wouldn't break my heart to lose it, but I think I'll hold on to this one.

Happier right now than I've ever been, except for no one around to share it with. Making relationships last has not been my strong suit heretofore, but if that never happens, so what? Why dwell on what you don't have when there's so much in the world to appreciate? Maybe in a couple or three years if everything goes well, I'll start to look that direction. There's no rush. I'm very used to and comfortable with being alone, and the workshop table is full.

I'd enjoy reading other people's versions of this, what their lives are like.

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