Take a Walk on the Wild Side

I’m walking more than ever. Like millions of others, I’ve been avoiding my health club. My neighborhood runs up along a hillside. Street’s twist and turn and there are footpaths and while there are dead ends here and there, I’ve walked enough to have discovered many of the secret passageways.

I walk as rain, sun and whim allow. The enlightened walker skips days when I have labored in the yard and the walk only adds unnecessary virtue to the balance of day that is best devoted to vice. Taking self-improvement to heart is one thing, transforming my inner conscience into the barking ravings of some phantom Vince Lombardi is another.

Walking for just over one hour I can accomplish so much. The famous 10,000 steps I can hit within 65-70 minutes. I could improve on that time, but that’s taking the poetry out of the enterprise and replacing it with the instruction manual to a more strident life. Pace, do not get me wrong, is vital and does have a place somewhere in the furthest reaches of my lower stem brain.

Vertical I arrange so I do as much and as steep as I can the earliest in the walk so I might get to that halfway point enjoying the conceit that it’s all downhill from here-on-out, that I’m home-free, that there are mermaids, cocktails and piles of fan mail waiting for me upon my return─ one out of three ain’t too bad.

I prefer a hiking stick. I use a foldable model, carbon fiber, with titanium tips for the street and rubberized tips for times I am scrambling over slickrock. The hiking stick has been useful to fend off dogs too. Twice in the last few months I’ve had dogs bolt from the front door of a home I am walking by to come test my mettle. The first beast was a basset hound mixed with beagle and suffering from dog territoriality syndrome. His efforts to penetrate my defense were for naught, the dog owner assuring me that her dog would never bite anyone─ obvious to me is the dog and owner had not gotten the memo that I wasn’t just anyone! The second was a rottweiler and the same hollow assurances were expressed while I was fending off her agitated living room escape artist. If you misunderstand any of this, take heed and know I adore dogs and until I changed to eating vegan had their pooch like respect. My odor no longer convinces them that I remain a carnivorous like-minded soul, that my possible treats would lack the real thing and that I am an imposter that must be sent fleeing their territory. This is all a pack of wolf nonsense, but the cunning canines and the non-meat eating homo-hikers are in the midst of a climate changing dietary reconfiguration.

Best walks are hard to explain because it might sound odd and have a peculiar ring to the ear. I prefer not dodging speeding cars. I tolerate the other walkers, they have as much right to walk as anyone, this is still a free country, even if that is now time-stamped and in play. Bird encounters from Disney’s special effects department are thrilling. I spend countless walks judging my neighbor’s choice of trees, brush, bush and bloom. Fence geometry is a profound spiritual experience. Gates are by my reckoning a lost opportunity. Door knockers, address lettering, mailboxes all indications of our civilizations decline.

Together we’ve all been thrust upon a new year setting out at the trailhead marked by the past to walk as best we might into this fraught future. Walking without earbuds helps. I’m not sure Neanderthals would believe in earbuds, knowing my Portuguese grandfather would have been utterly appalled, earbuds cannot improve a healing long walk, in fact they may well diminish what gain in self orientation a vivacious walker might enjoy.

You won’t help my cause if you clutter my street. Walking must come from your own inner compass. Willing walkers ready to dance with coyote cries and bobcat scat relish the taste of wild upon their lips. Cougar, bear and rattlesnake are here. I can find tick, black widow, and tarantula here. My favorite misery─ poison oak─ is rampant.

Let’s walk together this year, this new uncertain and fragile moment we all face, let’s walk together, let’s take a walk on the wild side…

Books · News! · Performances

St Pats 2018

Joshua Tree National Park

29 Palms Oasis

Dashing out Friday for hikes in Joshua Tree. Up this morning for one more bite of the hiking apple. Good chunk of miles at elevation. Mile high on first hike.

29 Palms Oasis Trail is free and officially part of the park. Short and sweet. Could do this hike every day.

29 Palms Oasis Two
California Washingtonia Palm Northernmost Oasis

Let’s also take a moment, remove our hats and salute to the stalwart souls who make any visit to Yucca Valley rock. A metaphysical feast of desert fools resplendent in piercings, tattoos and Art Cars in this case a bus.

hippie bus
Ken Kesey would have approved this version

Have a great weekend…

Edited Red Star


Books · News! · Performances

March 11, 2018

Walk in Park

Welcome to the Good Life!


New Vaudeville was a term of art coined some decades back. Musical hall, standup, variety artists, and street performers needed a new flow chart for what had come before, what was happening at the moment and where this juggernaut of new wave entertainment energy was heading. One of the purposes of this website is to simply make my show and production skills available. So there is that on offer here.


A Sense of Balance is Good

Fascinating conversation this morning about Feng Shui, permaculture and collecting edible plants in the Sonoran Desert. What’s on your plate? What are you cooking? Keep in touch, write me a note, let me know what you think we should do about making this a better world for those yet unborn ancestors who will be arriving here soon.

Edited Red Star

Books · Uncategorized

Wish Me Luck or Not


Urban Paradise

Confined to the Los Angeles Arts District for the past ten days, then before to Emeryville, and back and forth but nothing in between I am getting a bit long of tooth on this urban confinement. Clogged urban arterials no longer sing their heart-stopping song. I don’t want to be cheek to jowl at another standing room only event. I need a tent, trail, ridge and rattlesnake.

East to the border then crossing into open-carry Arizona where I’ll be packing my fully loaded Swiss Army knife, tent, hiking boots and Kevlar walking sticks. The forlorn desert town of Ajo is my first waystation. I’ll hold up overnight there, eat tacos and fight off Gila Monsters. I’ll more likely than not spend the evening gazing at stars, drinking tea and finish reading Abbey’s Hayduke Lives before I fall asleep.

The main thing is to wake up and be unfamiliar with where I have landed. The stranger and more lost-and-to-hell-and-gone I feel in the morning the better. Fix coffee, read, eat some grub, pack the tent, say two words to someone and then head east.

I got a date with a trailhead on top Mt. Lemmon on the itinerary. Will plan on a long hike. The idea is to let the mind and body wonder. Gaze down and find an animal track. Look up and see a raven. Stop every now and then have a sip of water. Put a handful of trail mix in my mouth and continue along my way. Cussing is part of the thing.

Somewhere mixed up in the driving, sleeping, and thinking is medicine to cure the confinement that’s been eating at me. The stop lights and homeless are a wearisome part of my day to day and I need a holiday from them both. I need some solitude slathered all across my need for space. I need some emptiness that might be meaningful if not downright useful. If I got even two words to rub together to spark a constructive conversation I’ll be the first to be surprised. I’m feeling like I haven’t a useful thought or gainful insight coming to me anywhere near or anytime soon. I’m looking for some restoration of the old psychic timbers so I may return and continue to participate in the construction of further delusions with the whole of humanity. Departing not soon enough but better late than never. With any luck this could be useful or produce envy or someone might criticize me for being a quitter while I’m gone. This is common to our circumstance in this era. Wish me luck or not.