Wednesday, December 26, 2018


... it makes me think of what is going on with my trash bags. I use the bags with a built in scent. Lavender. When you put the new bag in, it fills the apartment with the scent of lavender. It is amazingly resilient too. After a few days, there is still the scent of lavender. The caveat is that underneath the lavender smell is the faint undertone of banana peels, onion skins and the wrapper the chicken breasts came in. Then its time to take out the trash.
I've been using those bags for years. but the last few months I've noticed that when I replace a bag, I still smell trash. I've scrubbed the trash cans a few times now, and I swear when I walk into my apartment the day after replacing a bag, all I can smell is spoiled trash. But the bag is brand new with no trash in it yet.
I've determined that after using these bags for so many years, I've come to associate the otherwise lovely lavender smell with a potpourri of stale pancakes and maple syrup, leftover heavily peppered scrambled eggs, funky bean burrito's, and bad pork chop bones.
So, even though the Cowboys won today and clinched the division, don't be fooled.
They still stink.


"...An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.
The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl's IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, "How soon until I start to die?"
- Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird

Gathered at Whiskey River

Friday, December 21, 2018

Letter from a Master Addict to Dangerous Drugs, 1956

“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”
William Burroughs

Friday, December 14, 2018


If dreams are your subconscious trying to save your sorry ass then:

Climbing the stands of a ballpark takes you,
                to a train station.
At the station there is a girl you tried to call 
           that didn’t want you to call her
You call out her name three times
Dont she says
        Dont call me.

On the menu there are
               hot dogs cold beer and ice cream
and a guy you’ve only met once
           with the loudest most marvelous voice
His name is Dan and he is from Jersey
   New Jersey  

You find its amazing how kind people can be
Then some guy steals a car.
He steals the car and the crowd catches him
pulls him out of the car
and just before they beat the devil out of him
               You ask
“Has anyone called the cops?”

The disillusionist calls you to the stage
Smashes your watch
Cuts your tie in half
Now he is sawing the box in half
The one you are in with your feet at one end
And your head at the other.
He says
Say the magic words and I’ll stop
Say the magic words and I’ll stop
Say the magic words and I’ll stop
You try to say the words and cant
Your mouth opens but nothing comes out
Your mouth opens but nothing comes out
Your mouth opens but nothing comes out

Your eyes open and you hear yourself say
“Abracadabra” out loud.
He stops.
You laugh out loud and back to sleep.
Close one.

There are swarms of fish.
Under the boat.
Look! Look at them all!
You drop your bare hook into the water.
Gosh. What I wouldn’t give for a live minnow right now.

At Niagara Falls
She comes out of the mist
in a red raincoat
The mist of what must be ages
You tell her “I haven’t seen you in forever”
She says “That’s not true. I just saw you earlier, at the train station”  
            She’s right.
           You saw her not an hour ago.
She takes you by the arm
                Walking to the river.
Climbing in a barrel
                And over the falls we go.

They are your subconscious trying to save your sorry ass

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Down in San Antonio two weeks ago I made a dinner reservation at a nice restaurant.
In a voice that became increasingly more hayseed:
“Silo Prime, can I help you?”
“Um, yes ma’am, I’m Steve Renfro and I just called and made reservations at your fancy restaurant a couple minutes ago”
“Yes sir Mr Renfro”
Aw Shucks, no need for all that mister stuff. Listen here, I’se looking at your menu online here, and I see that you have a dress code. Its says “Casual Elegant”. Now I know what casual is, but I’m concerned about the elegant part. I don’t really have any elegant with me. I got a real nice shirt. Its almost brand spankin’  new. Its my favorite shirt and looks purty good on me I don’t mind sayin’. Its got a collar, and come from the dry cleaners just yesterday so its pressed and everthing. Heavy starch, that’s what I like. Now my britches, I just got jeans, but they is my best jeans. They’s only a year old and pressed nice like the shirt. No holes or nuthin’, even down there at the bottom of the leg---what do they call that that, the cuff?—even that’s in purty good shape. They fit me nice in the rear, but I wish they was a little roomier in the front. And I do have a belt, but I usually wear my shirt tail out because I have reached a shape it jus’ don’t stay tucked too good. So what do you think, Ma’am?”
I heard her snicker a little bit. She said “We do not require a coat and a tie, and jeans, as you describe, are fine”.
“Ok, well, thank you I appreciate that. That’s what I was worried about. I do have a jacket, and I nearly brung it, but didn’t. Now about the shoes. I did bring some dress shoes cuz someone told me a long time ago sometimes it was important to wear nice shoes. But I’d really rather wear my sneakers. They’s pretty new too, and cost more than I shoulda paid. Will those be OK?  Because we plan to go walk the river after.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


I had to go to a chiropractor earlier this year. Stiff neck. He worked on me a couple times and suggested I get a massage before seeing him. To loosen me up a little.
So for a few sessions, his assistant would give me a massage for 30 minutes, concentrating on my neck and shoulders. Then I would go in to see him.
I guess about the third time, he laid me on the table after my massage, and started to make his adjustment.
“Relax” he said.
“Relax?” I thought. I’d just had a 30 minute massage and he is telling me to relax.
And that’s when I noticed it. I was wound up like an atomic alarm clock. I was so tense laying there I could hardly even breathe. I let out my breath and tried to relax.
“That’s better” he said.
So it makes me wonder what I am really like “at rest”.  I like to think of myself as happy, kind and patient. I like to think I’m smart. But where do I fall on a sliding scale on any of those things unless I consciously give it my best effort?

When I try really hard, and when I know patience, tolerance and calm will be required for a phone call to AT&T. I do pretty good. For a while. I was on the phone with them a few weeks ago. Its like they have their own language and symbols, and for 40 minutes I was keeping the volume down. If things start to escalate, things quickly fall apart.  But it reached a point I was practically screaming.
The poor girl. She said “Mr. Renfro, there is no need to yell at me”
I said “I’m not yelling AT you, I’m just yelling!
And we both laughed, and things were better.