Friday, July 11, 2014

Unschooling dad interview 7/2014

For the second time in my life, I agreed to do an interview as an unschooling dad. It's here. No more need be said.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Top 69 Things for Kids and Teens to be Successful in Life

People like to make numbered lists; it seems to be a human trait.

5 Reasons To...
10 Quick Ways To...
Top 3 Reasons For...

In this vein, I offer my very best advice in a numerical list.

Top 69 Things for Kids and Teens to be Successful in Life


1. Have fun.
Iterate 68 more times.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

$50, Brother!

$50, Brother!

(Frank Maier – 2014)
For the Basement Boys


Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah (E-G-E-G-A)

Guitar lick


Guitar lick


Guitar lick


Guitar lick


*(Verse 1)

We were playin’ the blues down in the basement one night.

We were feeling real good and sounding just right.

I was right in the groove and playing with pride,

Then the vocals ended and it was time for my ride.

 *(change from staccato dah-dah… to walking bass blues D for chorus)

Shit! I fucked it up again! (A)

Played some real bad notes, and then (E)

Everybody in the band yelled, “Amen! (D)

$50, brother!” (A)

*Keyboard ride (verse form-chorus form)

*V2 (back to staccato dah-dah-etc.)

The Godfather of Soul was Mister James Brown.

When he got his band rockin’, they could really put it down;

But if he heard you fucking up, he’d throw you a harsh frown;

Then charge you $50 and sit your lame ass down!


*Guitar ride (verse form-chorus form)

*Bridge (walking D)

Beethoven said you can play a wrong note, (A)

But if you play without passion, that’s what makes you a goat. (D)

If Ludwig said that, ya know it works for me,(E)

So I’m gonna set my solo spirit free!

*V3 (back to staccato dah-dah-etc. )

So we’re rockin’ this old basement every Tuesday night

And we really don’t care if each note is wrong or right.

The most important thing under the sun

Is that everybody’s down there just to have some fun!

*(Chorus – with responses)

Shit! I fucked it up again! (So what?)

Played some real bad notes, and then (Me, too!)

Everybody in the band yelled, “Amen! (That’s true!)

$50, brother!” (Not really!)

*OUTRO: (A) same as intro






Friday, May 16, 2014

To Brad Who Lives in My Memory

To Brad Who Lives in My Memory


Herculean hug from a blithe spirit warms my heart,
Wandering the halls of memory tonight.
Here at the end of the scene, wanting it to be the start,

Retrieving vignettes from my memory’s sight.
The warmth of his embrace, the Aether of his joy,
Enfolding me with enthusiastic energy.

Releasing for eye-contact, like a cherubic boy,
And asking sweetly about my family and me.

Not a worshipper of Haropcrates, he. Hermes better suited his style.
Always entertaining, maybe woo, never stuffy,

On the Sisyphean homilectic of unschooling. With a smile,
He’d endeavor to unscrew the inscrutable with me.

At LIFE is Good near Portland or San Diego’s Good Vibrations,
We’d deconstruct the meaning of meaning

Over breakfast, in passing, or with the bar’s nectarous libations,
‘til our families for sleep would be keening.

It was Brad and Lucretia and then there came Lena,
But before that sweet sprite, there was John.

A family so sweet, they would make you a dreamer,
But then quicker than Huginn, Brad was gone.

No hug for my corpus. No dialectic for my mind. For my dolorous soul, there’s no balm.
Lucretia, Lena, and John fill my head.

So many friends in so many places, so many souls feel the harm,
‘tho’ alive in our memory, in fact, Brad is dead.

Vita brevis, memoria aeterna. Life is short but memory is forever.
Eheu! Eheu! Oh so young, far too young.

But our memories of him will fade never.
And for now, my song for Bradley is sung.

Bradley Holcomb 14 May 2014
Frater, requiescas in pace.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Achievement Unlocked – Two of Three Numbers. Only One More Needed!

Sixty years ago, I had my sixth birthday and got the first of my ultimate three digits. Today, on my sixty-sixth birthday, I finally got the second six. Only one six left to go to achieve completion!

(maybe a bit older than 6 but close)

There were minor 666 plateaus over the years, of course. I graduated high school in 6/66, a lovely adumbration, especially since it was a Jesuit-run prep school. The Pope’s ninjas nurturing the once and future beast! How droll. How ironic.


In 6/76 (Just one number off!), I made the huge change of moving from New Orleans to Seattle, bringing my seductive Creole decadence to the innocent Northwest. One bad apple and all that.


By 2/86 (and eight minus two is, again, SIX), I was dating my beautiful Ronnie. Peripherally, I’m 17 years older than Ronnie and 1 from 7 is (Wait for it!) SIX! Put that together with the two sixes of 2/86 and it makes for a pretty nice triple-6.


In 9/96 (Nine is just an upside down six, so how Satanic is that?) I was taking flying lessons in Destin, FL; and, yes, I did want to learn how to land as well as take off. By that time, spin training had been omitted from the private pilot requirements and replaced with stall awareness; however, spin training was not prohibited and I made sure to find an instructor who was not spin-averse. I mean, what’s the fun in light aircraft if you’re not gonna spin the bastard? Wheeeeeee! I am a leaf on the fucking *whirl*wind! E-ticket rides are for pussies!


Finally, here today, 4/27/14 (as only we in the ass-backwards US write it), I made it to sixty-six or, numerically, 66. W00t! So close.


So today I celebrate being two-thirds of the way to my ultimate destiny. Pleased to meet you. Won’t you guess my name?

Sympathy for the Devil

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Letters to the dead: Jorene

On Sunday April 6, 2014 my beloved aunt Jorene (Adams) Maier had her appointment in Samarra. Well, technically, rather than involving a frightened rush to Samarra in the vain hope of avoiding such an event, it was an anticipated meeting in Selah, WA in the privacy and comfort of her own home, embraced by her family, especially her husband of more than sixty years, my uncle Moritz. Together they were the MoJo of the Maier clan: Moritz and Jorene, a unit, a single and singular entity. Now, she has departed to explore Shakespeare’s undiscovered country alone, while Morrie and the rest of us are left with a huge lacuna in our lives here in the mundane, workaday world.

They married not long after the war, that’s WWII of course, and embarked on a life together. During that journey, they shared nine children, twenty-eight grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, countless nieces and nephews, spouses of most of those, and enough love and kindness to blanket the world. Jorene was kindness personified. She was Catholic, and in that context I think it is completely appropriate to call her a saint. She lived her life that way and, in death, per her beliefs, she is absolutely one.

Given the power of her life and its effect on those around her, I thought immediately of John Donne’s poem when I heard of her death. She may be gone, but her legacy of love and kindness transcends the grasp of Death himself. Once her appointment was scheduled, she did not tarry here. In my experiences with death, it seems that the good ones never do. They are anxious, in the concept of the old spiritual, to board the morning train for home because that evening train just might be too late. Bon voyage, cher tante (per alliance).

Mornin' Train  (Technically, "Get Right, Church")

She is at peace. It is those of us who remain who wish there were a train to carry us to Gilead. Alas! There is none. The only balm we have is our memories of her. Perhaps, that is enough.

Death be not proud – John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

P.S. My lovely friend Ren maintains a blog of letters to the dead. I have submitted this to her for inclusion there, too.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Long Train Runnin'



V1: Down around the corner half a mile from here
See them long trains run and you watch them disappear
Without love where would you be now
Without love

V2: Though I saw Miss Lucy down along the track
She lost her home and her family and she won’t be coming back
Without love where would you be now
Without love

V3: (hit the ones) Well the Illinois Central and the Southern Central Freight
Keep on pushing mamma you know they're running late
Without love where would you be now
Without love


V4: (Same as 3) Well the Illinois Central and the Southern Central Freight
Keep on pushing mamma you know they're running late
without love where would you be now
without love

V5: (hit it staccato)
Well the pistons keep on turning and the wheels go round and round
And the steel rails are cold and hard and the mountains they go down
Without love where would you be now
Without love      [SLOW IT DOWN]


Gotta gotta
Move it down
Baby, baby, baby, etc.