Cooking Heroin, Echo Park

18 Years

Once upon a time, I drank a little bit too much liquor and used a little bit too much drugs.1997. I lived in a one room apartment in Hollywood. I'd usually black out before I could get into bed and wake up on the floor, or on the sofa, wondering…
Salton Sea, 2004

Slow the Fuck Down

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. - Alan WattsHold on. We're runners, right?…
Rocky Brown Mountain trail

Mindful running: I run just to run

I haven't written about running in a while because what is there to write about? Pretty much you just run. Somedays I run fast. More days I run slow. Usually I hike up hills. Running down them is a particular thrill, especially if they…
Salton Sea Stop
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Running with Aspergers, Pt 2

A few weeks before Black Canyon 100K, race director Jamil Coury let me know that they'd extended the cut-off to 18 hours, from 16. I was relieved by this. Sixteen hours had proven to be just out of reach on past attempts, and I liked knowing…
Eaton Saddle, Christmas Eve

2014: Seeking Quiet, Finding Noise.

Angeles Crest 100 is a 100 mile trail run through the scrappy, tough-like-a-Mexican-boxer San Gabriel Mountains. It’s easily the hardest of all races in California - this assessment is not a judgment call but based on finishing times - and…
Drought stricken Salton Sea

Which is Bigger: the Earth or the Sun?

Propaganda.California, the news reports say, is in the middle of a serious drought. Freddy doesn't believe a word of it. Freddy is a gay leather man with a pig tattooed across his chest. He rides a scooter and manages a fetish shop on Sunset…

Country Dark

Central Texas, 1979.Country dark. I heard that phrase today. The first time I consciously experienced country dark I was out on a friend's family ranch in central Texas, 1979. We'd driven out to the middle of a field in a the pickup truck. The…
Angelyne, Hollywood Blvd 1995

100 Miles of Nostalgia, and a Prayer.

Why?It's been a lazy August. I get up every morning at 5:30, make coffee, get into my running gear, think better of it, and sit in the living room with a book. The desire to run has left me for a while. My body needs a vacation. I'm not…
Above the clouds

Quiet, Please

It's beautiful and sunny up here at 7,000 feet. Meanwhile, in the city, it's cold and dark.I can't see you. I can't hear you.Nature is working with me today, as it often does. It's created a barrier between you and me. It's symbolic only,…
Bear Canyon


Wednesday Morning.My people skills are not great. It doesn't take much for me to feel like I am under assault. People do extraordinary and often very short sighted things. People are always hustling to do less and get paid more and often…
Trumpet, Barcelona, 1993

Rattlesnakes, Wild Parrots, and Meditation on Sound

"We are immersed in a soundscape of enormous depth and variety. Just take a moment to listen. What do you hear?" [1] It's 6:31 am. My kitchen window faces east. Highland Park isn't awake yet. There are some gloriously brooding storm clouds…
My father, Pure Oil.

Freight Train

Joseph Cordner. My father. When I was a little kid I had a thing about trains. Canada is a big place, and the Canadian Pacific went all across it. Not up, not down, just a shortest-distance-between-two-points-is-a-straight-line across.…

Gimp Shoes

When I was a little kid, I had gimp shoes.I had managed, somehow, to tear my Achilles tendon, and so the Doctor prescribed them.They were specially built orthopedic wingtips. I already didn't fit in with the other kids in this rural western…
Take Care of the Land

85 years old.

My buddy Ken is 85 years old. He's a old vaudevillian who hit the road before he was 10, playing the accordion and tap dancing through Missouri, Kansas and Iowa, the remains of the old RKO circuit.He met his wife in New York. She was singing…
Vancouver Island
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The Old Man, pt. 2

The old man is in his 80s now.He's not doing so well.Always taciturn except when drunk (and, often, even then), it wasn't so easy to see his mind slipping away. He was never a fast man - his speech, his movements, everything about him was tightly…