The Song of My People

About 20 years ago we had a home that also served as home to a sweet variety of musicians and artists who needed a home when none (other than ours*) was available.  Me and Mine had the downstairs and Wayne was upstairs, for the telling of this story. HORSEgirl

Wayne played in a band called Technicolor Headrush. While I loved Wayne and Kirk and the other boys in that band (like little brothers,) it wasn’t so much my cup of tea. I still went to the shows and supported local music and all, but it was way more love than actual enjoyment.

It was a Wednesday night and it wasn’t full-frontal Winter anymore. I remember both of these things only because I still notice that so many bands I love all practice on Wednesday nights (that’s why I call it “Band Practice Night” instead of hump day) and I was barefoot. (For record keeping purposes -I wore two pairs of socks from post-Winfield until the daffodils bloomed. aka: leg shaving offseason.)

Our practice shut down by ten because we were old people, all being over 30 and all, and we were settling into the Recap Safety Meeting when Wayne knocked on the front door and asked if he could show us something. I was kinda hoping this would happen because the music I’d heard fall down the stairs all night was a huge departure from the angsty stuff we’d grown used to. Standing behind him in our funkyass mudroom foyer was Kirk with a guitar that had been punched squarely in the face, Jeff (holding what looked like the gas tank from an old Ford truck with a stick in it,) and Eric with a mandolin.

SLRbw
Split Lip Rayfield

(Unless it was a banjo, which it could have been, but I’d think I’d remember that since we already had Richard, and back then we only got about one banjo player per zip code.) They shuffled in past the living room to the dining room which was completely open because it wasn’t really a dining room so much as it was the band practice room and office space for the first ISP in Kansas.

 

I don’t remember what they played first. I remember I was Sofa.King.Exhausted from working a 15 hour day, practicing for 4 hours and raising kids for 19 hours that I couldn’t remember where I left my shoes. I know they started out with strong clear harmonies and a completely  rearranged bluegrass sensibility, but this music had teeth like The Bad Livers got involved in the build while The Pogues added a rogue chromosome to the DNA. I pretty much immediately forgot that I was tired.

It was a late schoolnight and they played 3 songs before anybody drew a breath. Even the rebellious teens hanging out in my sons room smoking my flowers (stolen from the tray under the sofa like shifty baccalaureate ninjas,) came out to see who was making this music in our house. I had a slow motion Matrix-moment where I looked around and memorized the intersection of where I came from and where I was headed.

MOMOauntsI memorized moments like this for a living by the time this night unfolded. The moments when my mother and her sisters busted out their 5 part harmonies at 2am after a pyramid of Schlitz beers and too many Kent cigarettes. We were short enough to listen from under the kitchen table and Aunt Carol always left half of every cigarette she lit.

I remembered singing at the top of my lungs with strangers during my 16th summer, in a war-torn alley in Londonderry when my mom and I had run away from home on my fathers payroll because we could and he pissed us both all the way off (and a country under siege was an attractive option, given the choices.) We locked arms with Italians and Germans and Austrians, that night, and sang till the sun rose.

I remembered how hot my cheeks burned when I didn’t understand the difference between “Winfield Virgin” and actual, bonafide Virgin, but I was rewarded with being taught the entire John Prine catalog by a bunch of editors from the Joplin Globe.

Fast forward a million miles, three lifetimes and all the breakfasts later – I got to see a show last weekend that rolled all those perfect moments into focus. I got to meet new Family (by choice not blood) and be reminded why we do this and how defined I am by the sharing. Music makes me stronger, taller and funnier in the morning. My personal chemistry is totally addicted to the seratonin and dopamine tsunamis that allow me to stay up all night and hatch plans to overtake the earth with love and music and kindness.  (And, Underground Railroads. Viva la Revolucion!)

Larry & His Flask played The Tower last weekend and I got to take in a fresh new breath of how my musical moment memory works  in 2016, after the Mumfords and Avetts and Oh Brother got their fingerpints allllll over this scene.  My scene. The Family scene. LFLASKone

By the time this night ended, I had met all of the parents, most of the best friends and at least half the getaway drivers. I enjoyed one of the best, most dynamic shows I’ve seen in ages (my bar is set CRAZY-high) and I got to be reminded of how happy I am that there are no two-tops in this world. All our tables hold everybody. We need each other to help us build the soundtracks to play in our backgrounds. Me and my people: We’re all mix-tapes and kitchen sing-alongs and I just might be six feet tall.

Meet me at the table.

xomoe

*My kids might still not love this truth. They had to share at an unprecedented level and I continue to hope that they know I know this, and am grateful for their beneficence.

 

 

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The Top Ten Ways The Oxford Hotel Rocked my Casbah

OXFORDmeLACEYI recently had occasion to hang out in Bend, Oregon for a minute or two (5 days) and was lucky enough to land at The Oxford Hotel with one of my most favorite partners in crime; It’s prompted me to return to my Love Letter Writing roots as it was one of the most restorative micro-vacations I’ve had in years.

I could go on ad naseum about every single detail that made my world a better place and returned the bounce to my step, but I love you enough to squeeze it into a Top Ten List.

Top Ten Oxford Hotel Coolosities (in no particular order)

  1. The Location Snuggled into a righteous corner of downtown Bend, surrounded by all kinds of seriously incredible ($$$) boutique shops, restaurants and salons, it was entirely possible to walk any and every where that held any appeal and it’s the perfect location from which to just adventure.
  2. The Vibe  The attention to detail is evident in every single element and supports the “Upscale” claims in their promotional materials perfectly. It is upscale, but it’s also not so stuffy as to make a girl in overalls feel all judged and inadequate.
  3. The Restaurant 10 Below is tucked away in the basement of the hotel and proved to be a fine place to shake off too many hours in meetings or too many miles in exploration. The service was so good as to be remarkable, the menu was diverse and the vibe was classy without being breathless.
  4. Elevator Voice When she announces the lobby, she says it in such as way that you think of Lolita. It’s both sassy and sultry, and about guaranteed to make you smile if you’re listening. What a great elevator voice.
  5. Guitars & Mandolins available to borrow during your stay. Seriously? This is a first for me and is my most fave bonus feature. The Breedlove Guitar company is located in Bend and has worked out an arrangement with The Oxford Hotel to make instruments available to their guests. This rocks out loud so hard, I’m still smiling.
  6. The Pillow Menu True story. A menu fat with pillow options. Every bit as awesome as you might imagine it to be.
  7. The Staff The people of a place can make or break a reputation and this place has got their happy staff secured. From the servers in the restaurant to the front desk and the bellmen and the turn-down loves, these staffers make kindness look and feel authentic and I’m pretty sure I’ve come away with friends I’ll have forever.
  8. The Bathroom I know this shouldn’t make me as happy as it does, but dang – this bathroom (with the finest robes.EVER) was like movie stars and HGTV got together and built the perfect place to soak in a tub or stand too long under hot water in the shower. Props, you bathroom designers – well done.
  9. The People Watching 2am on the street in front of the hotel was a spectacular place to watch really really happy people call it a night and laugh hard. While the daybreak hours proved best for the small packs of young teen.angsty long-boarders who were more entertaining that ballet and ice skating put together.
  10. The Staff gets another mention here because of the top ten great things about this place, the people and their kindness is probably more important to me than a pillow menu. I did dig the fact that we could choose pillows, though.

New Study Proves: Cannabis Aids in Aging Gracefully

Hey kids. Leave your boots by the door and set your coats on the radiator – I made Butterballs. Maaaaaaaaaaan, I’ve been missing you. It’s superduper Wintery up here in the Cascade mountains of Oregon – just like it’s s’posta be because it’s Winter and all. The days are short and while my will to live is way-high, my will to change out of yoga pants and leave this house is remarkably low. I’m glad you came by so I don’t have to move. This is perfect.

My most productive hobby, of late, has been to find new and clever ways to get better performance out of a body that is pretty-much in full-on rebellion. Arched back, stomping heels into filthy linoleum, ear-piercing shriek of a physical hissy fit it is, and it often calls the shots.

SALVEcompMy body is furious with me and I’m cool with that, given the alternatives. There’s some old war wounds and some new working-too-much monkeys that proved to be great real estate for test-driving some of this $40 salve I was able to legally procure from my local dispenser.

The Bad Knee happened 40 years ago and never got put back together right so it’s some sweet bone-on-bone action up in there and usually just feels like a little pocket knife, not a big boning knife or anything, is jammed just up to the left of my kneecap. Sometimes it cripples, but duct tape, bracing and time fix it fine. The Salve (that I really can’t identify from the labeling and sorta wished they’d work with me on getting something a little more clear) was, for real – The Shiznit on that stabbing pain. It made me smile at my knee for, like, a whole 2 hours. Then it wanted more. I was also writing, not hustling through a station with gear or something, so I’ll know more when I’m back in orbit.

The Abdomen Alien is some seriously pissed-off old scar tissue from a couple things that tried to kill me. It is a bit more than a nuisance and I had my doubts, strongass doubts, that this salve could possibly do anything. It both did and did not disappoint – the old scars near the surface, did stop screaming for a bit. It didn’t do jack for the more serious pain BUT (and this is a big OL’HUGE BUT) I contend that a huge part of pain management can be found in chilling.the.fuck.out. I can’t see how a topical absorption of THC and CBD could be anything BUT good for chilling. Sooo…. who’s to say if I’m not crying less because my system is processing more cannabis. I dunno. I’m just an old white lady spinning words in a tower, looking for kindness, truth and a freakin’break from the alien in me belly.

The maybe I work-too-much monkeys that live on each shoulder are probably the most common ailment I hear the islanders talk about, and I can tell you: IF for no other reason than this alone: BUT THIS STUFF. Holy cow and yes please. I also generously shared with the soles of my feet before I tucked them into fat wool socks and I discovered that my usage of the word “Fuck” drop by 48% within the first hour.

With frequent reapplication, (including soles of feet and extending to my temples and forehead) I noticed that I no longer noticed and was in a way-better mood, writing shinier sentences … donating to kickstarters. Seriously. I think I recommend this stuff.

It did, for certain and without doubt, kick all kinds of ass on these old arthritic hands. That rocked. In fact, all the old broken bones responded well to this. Truthfully: I’m just kinda surprised at the outcome, I thought this rubbing it all over you thing was just kinda silly and excessive. Maybe not.

I’m lucky to have no shortage of both empirical and anecdotal data on this stuff and I’m more than happy to share. Next time we’ll talk about what I’ve seen in sexy-time cannabis; It’s gonna crack you all the way up what the kids are doing these days. Bring that bourbon your son gave you for Christmas, I’ll put out some flowers.

xomoe

 

 

 

Adventures in Going West

Sweet Row Boats

Hey Pioneers – I got all wrapped up in seeing every single little thing and I forgot that I write for a living. Colorado sends it’s warmest and sunniest howdies and says that you should come visit because they are totally loving all those tourist dollars. I would say that they’re completely digging the company, too – but that might be a lie. I think the pleasure of your company is often a necessary evil and you are gently tolerated.

Thankfully, the literal, freakin’awesome beauty of these surroundings has completely eclipsed the fact that I’m not getting hugs and compliments with every convenience store transaction. Every day I see something new and I’d be lying if I said I’m not tripping – I whisper.gasp way too much. This place is so incredibly alive and verdant (bam! wettest May on record) and full of splendor. Yea. For real: Splendor. Purple mountains majesty. Blindingly beautiful wildflower fields. Winds that smell of pine needles and freshly turned gardens or little baby skunks and tart morning grass. All the rivers and streams are way up and so clear that you can see down to the bottom. I swear the fish are just coming by to say “hey” and be all chill. It’s a trip like Disney cartoons are a trip, complete with little chirping birds wearing brilliant colors.

This was May 2015
This was May 2015

The place I’ve come to love the most for this flavor of chill is just outside Eagle, Colorado and is probably one of those “Best Kept Secrets” kinda destinations. It goes by A.J. Brink Outfitters at Sweetwater Lake but everybody I know (all 5 people) just calls it Sweetwater. It’s about as full-service as any of the outdoor adventures I’ve heard about and the scenery and remote location make it ideal for my wants. Mostly my wants involve less work and more play. This place rocks for that.

It’s also, as luck would have it, a perfect place for naps. I found the absence of city sounds indescribably welcome and I’d bet some people would pay extra for that. You can hear the Falcons and Eagles and Hummingbirds (like a full-time Jetson’s cartoon just playing the flying cars part at a real low volume) and probably about a hundred other birds, but no motors or engines or air conditioners. If you’ve never been in a place where all that abstract background noise is gone, do yourself a solid and GET.out.

Imagine that summertime cartoony image of a little lake fat with constantly jumping trout, nestled among pristine mountains under skies so blue that the color hasn’t even been named yet. Yea. Imagine that and white puffy clouds. And, you can see the West Coast! Okay. I lied about that part, but there are some views that are guaranteed to make you feel especially small. I built a nest and slept on the deck one night, under this blanket of Milky Way that was so bright I could taste it. I’d recommend that over Prozac, if I were a doctor.

SWEEThorsesThere are guided horseback tours and boats that float a stocked lake with a few campsites and cabins tucked in here and there. It looked like you could have as much privacy as you want and that it could be as affordable as you make it. Personally, I’d work overtime to sleep in a cabin or room in the motel-like stretch of accommodations, but I just roll that way. The campsites I toured were remarkable cool and all offered views like none other and not terrible hikes to bathrooms., so there’s really no way to go wrong.

SWEETrestrntThe hub of the operation is a restaurant where the food made me way happy and the wifi sated my itchy typing fingers. I think you check-in here but I know for sure I got ice there and every single thing I’ve had from the kitchen was really, kinda, over-the-top. Because I’ve been grandfathered in by virtue of a stunt-son who works there on occasion, I’ve eaten some of the Crew meals (don’t even get me started on the killer smart and ambitious crew) and some things from the menu and they all made me feel like my mom was in the kitchen and I’d gladly clean-up. I didn’t have to clean up, but I would have. Gladly.

When I was a kid, our entire family would book a resort in Branson, MO (before it got all bedazzled – we owned.that.place) and 30 of us would swarm and test limits and stay up too late and gather our family mojo for about a week. This place in Sweetwater would be perfect for that. You gotta want it, though because it’s not right off the main highway or anything, but the location is a huge bonus if you want to get all.the.way away with yourself or people you love. SWEETkayaks

Gotta bounce. Headed to Ouray for the weekend, will let you know if it’s as cool as I remember.

xomoe

Dear Kansas: Wanna Get High? Bring Cash. Love, Colorado

Dear Kansas,

I can’t tell you how much I wish you were here!

The creeks are all huge with runoff and the sun is on vacation.
The creeks are all huge with runoff and the sun is on vacation.

While it’s still mostly Winter, it’s only mostly Winter, like mostly dead, it’s not that bad. Some of the flowers are blooming, the birds are ready to party and it smells like the perfect combination of Christmas tree farm and freshly tilled garden soil. It’s every bit as incredible as you remember. In fact, if you can get away – come over! I’ve found some truly sweet spots to show you.

Short of that, you gotta know: Now would be the ideal time to check out what Colorado is doing with all this legal weed. FOR.real. I thought I knew more than I did and feel like I can make some things easier for you. I share because I’m hopeful that you won’t handle this the same way you did that whole Prohibition thing. That was embarrassing for all of us and I wasn’t even born yet.

If you’re not familiar with the whole history of weed and have the patience of a saint with burning all-night kinda curiosity, check out this piece. I think it’s fairly legit, but I believe nothing, so the diligence is on you. I think we’ve talked about this, so I know that you know and I trust your ability to think critically.

I’ll try to tell you all the good stuff… I’ll Try mightily to not talk too much.

GOING TO THE WEED SHOP (or Rec Store, depending on who you ask)

I felt dorky and awkward and saw people in suits and soccer moms and hippies and skater punks. It was all good, I didn’t look like it was my first time.

There was a security guard standing in the parking lot and the adjacent 7-11 is fat with signs that threaten to tow cars within nanoseconds if the drivers dare park there to shop weed. Seemed kinda intense and we hadn’t even gone in yet. It kinda looked like a renovated gas station with crazy locking doors installed indoors to keep people in and out of protected areas.

Business is brisk from open to close and all exchanges are done in cash, just like the last 40 years in America, but the business model is clinical and way more impersonal than going to see your buddy a couple blocks over. I’ve been told there is most often a line that wraps around the outside of the buildings, but that wasn’t the case when I was there.

This one had a big entry with a counter along the wall and two certified weed workers (you have to be registered to work in the industry, apparently. Cost $150) standing at ASUS laptops, next to a kinda gigantic ATM. Made me wonder what they charged for transaction fees and how happy they were with those laptops and if they got insurance and how they were paid.

Once they’ve put your driver’s license information into their system, you sit for a couple minutes on the benches that line the room. When the Clipboard Person comes through a door and calls your name, you go through a different set of locking doors to sit on another long bench facing a bunch of doors with all kinds of signs about what to do and what not to do, on them. Before too terribly long, a person comes through the door and calls your name and points you to one of the doors and says “Go in there and have your ID in your hand.”

Our Weed Concierge (That was not his formal title, but that’s what he did) was one of those quintessential young Colorado men with chiseled features and a flavor of handsome that speaks to good breeding and life outdoors. He had the enthusiasm of a cheer-leader and had either memorized his patter, or he truly had done his research and spoke from truth. Regardless, he was more than able to field all the questions and he was a treat to work with.

This is one purchase that averaged out to exactly more than expected.
This is one purchase that averaged out to exactly more than expected.

Sativa or Indica? (I have a preference, but wondered what the company line was on this) He recommended Indica for 1) Creativity 2) Pain Relief and 3) Focus

How much are lollipops? $5/each

gummibears? $38/package

chocolate bars? $22/$35

weed? $55/ish for an eighth PLUS tax. If you’ve got an out-of-state driver’s license, your tax is going to be way higher, CO residents are taxed less and Medical Card carriers are taxed even less. Maybe way less, like none. Regardless, if you’re coming all the way here from KS, with cash – bring more than you think you need. (Colorado will gladly relieve you of all that extra cash and turn it into smarter kids, or something.)

What’s the difference between Medical and Recreational: 1) Medical is typically stronger 2) You have to have a card to get Medical (that involved a whole’nother cattle call and some days of patience, supposedly, wherein you go see a recommended physician who DOES NOT give you a prescription for weed, but a note that says something about something and the quality of your life improving. Essentially.) The important parts are right in that sentence.

When you decide what you want, he uses a walkie-talkie to tell the workers in the weed packaging room to be looking for you. You wind through some skinny places to a door with a waist-high window that looks pretty Shawshank Hollywoody, and some mysterious hands reach through the opening with your order. I think there was a one-way mirror involved and lots of cameras. Then you’re in a darker room with another counter and 3 more workers, checking people out at a pretty good clip, on Mac Books. These people had some crazy.good.gear.

In retrospect, I wished I’d asked more about the grow practices because I suspect that, like food, it won’t be long until Monsanto becomes a buzz kill in the mix. I could be wrong and didn’t ask, so I can’t say for sure, but I know the locals say they trust only themselves and can legally keep 2 plants going to meet their needs for about $20/month after the $500 initial set-up.

There are about a bazillion more slices to this pie, that I am way too curious about, so I’ll write again soon. Remind me to tell you about the mountains of cash. No. FOR real. Mountains.of.cash. Cash that can’t be put in an FDIC insured bank. Yea. Think about it. This is a trip! There is SO much to tell you.

I love you and miss you and hope you’re eating out at local restaurants, buying locally made art and no longer changing in phone booths. That was always kinda awkward for me.

Xomoe

PS: If you find my shoes, just give them to Bobby or CeeCee. Xoxo

Free Idea!

Hey Wichita,

I know you’re busy, so I’ll keep it brief.

In going through the million things that I’ve collected during my 3 year layover here, I’ve found a bunch of great ideas that I didn’t have time to get started. I’m going to pass them on to you because you look like you need them.

The Tiny Home movement has been growing in popularity for the last 15 years, and I think you might have missed the memo. No bigs. It’s not too late. Here’s the deal: You so SO ought to build a tiny home village (for any one of a whole bunch of reasons that I’m more than happy to outline in person over a cup of coffee.)

LOCOhillI worked out some of the kinks and just went ahead and chose my most fave slice of real estate that I have watched sit dormant, since my return. I know it’s all tied up in some kinda legal battle and some things happened and some people are involved, but you’re going to have to suspend disbelief and act like you can do anything that matters and you’re all in. You glow when you’re all in.

You know that corner at Rutan and Douglas, just across from the Hillcrest? There are 3 separate lots there that the right team could turn into a dream factory and sweet slice of residency. Magic, math and some sly manipulation might be involved.

Because it’s on the lower end of College Hill, you can call it LoCo Hill. LoCo Hill Something Clever. My friend Karen named this neighborhood for me, and I think it’s on the money right. I’m pretty sure this would be the perfect place for a tiny home community and surely somebody knows somebody who could help make it happen. It’s just sad that those big ol’townhomes are sitting over there gathering dust; It will rock when a developer gives a nod to reality and builds something for the people.

It’s this simple:LOCOblue

  • Build homes that are roughly 200sf each.
  • Source as locally as possible from the R&D through completion. We have amazing workers right here.
  • Work towards community, affordability and sustainability.

You’re smart, you’ll figure out the rest. It’s not like you don’t have a million maps to borrow from here. But, you seriously ought to chop chop, Princess. Daylight’s burning. This project could launch a whole bunch more like it. You could be a national leader in taking care of your homeless and vets and old people and young couples just starting out. You could. I’m sure of it, you just have to agree and wear the right shoes. We’ll see.

Stop dawdling and get on it. You’ve got everything you need.

Hope your week rocks and I look forward to hearing back from you. How are the kids, anyways?

xomoe

If you and/or your company would like to sponsor the next year of incredible ideas and research, click here: MOE SPONSORSHIP!

 

 

 

 

Dear Wichita

WICHITAlogoOLDdOh, dear sweet Wichita – How badly I wished you could see yourself like I see you. I can’t believe we just paid consultants to confirm your astonishing lack of self-esteem. Come over here and curl up, I’ll tickle your back while I tell you this thing…

What all the other towns and cities have been afraid to tell you… the reason they don’t want to hang out so much, is because you are constantly trash-talking yourself and doubting your coolness. It makes it really hard to defend you and build you up, Buttercup. Nobody wants to hang out in a village that is constantly asking if those jeans make their libraries look fat.

It’s time, well…not right now, right now you can rest, but tomorrow (or later on today after you’ve eaten well) you need to remember how cool it is to use your powers for good. You are going to have to make some difficult decisions that will have great impact on the future. And, yes. I’m talking about money even though I know it upsets you. You need to stare deeply into your Magic 8 Ball and drink up the future. It’s all on you now. You are perfectly poised to make a difference and instigate some change. You’re just going to need to be steely and smart – you might not love the process so much but you will totally dig the outcome. And, every dream needs an accountant. Just accept it and plan ahead.

Just.sayin.

I’ve been watching. You really are growing up beautifully. You have shown me a level of tenacity (in the face of a mostly unbelievable Brownbackistan/Machiavellian tragedy) that restored my faith in your ninja-like skill set. You grow more beautiful with the seasons, part by design and part by nature. I see you out and about – you’re more curious and alive than ever before. I’m serious: I think you got this. I think the training portion of this study has ended and now you’re going to be. I expect you to also go and do, with grace and verve.

WICHITAdriver1Y’know what else I love about you? You welcome and cultivate a breed of competent and fiercely independent merchants specific to this place on the globe. Your crazy-low cost of living is the stuff of legend and your willingness to adapt has allowed for a vibrant and unique slice of goodness, right in the middle of the country. You’ve actually built a world where your citizens don’t HAVE to shop at big box stores. You’re super cool that way.

Surely you’ve seen what your Creatives are doing, right? Your artists and architects and engineers and musicians and chefs and writers are sharing parts of you, all over the world. Wichita is not a slightly embarrassing third-cousin anymore. Google yourself, or don’t, but trust me: The sooner you roll up your sleeves and claim your sweet little badass identity as an understated spot of cool on the globe to grow Creatives and promote tech-industry (or something equally attractive,) the quicker this will happen.

You’re going to have to Get Over a lot. You’re not the Air Cap any more. You can still say that because the air here is arguably, among the best in the world, but that ship has sailed. We do build some planes and that will never stop being cool. But, get over it. You’ll never be Lawrence. Yeaaa, you’ll still sleep nights, Lawrence will always be right there, 2 hours and 20 minutes away. It’s a college town, it’s job is to just keep getting cooler. The Airport (I stubbornly refuse to call it by it’s newly minted name) will never be a hub, no matter who you call or how many times you stomp your pretty little feet. Never.going.to.happen. You can’t leave the country from here on commercial aviation, without a stop and I promise it will be okay..

WICHITA airCAP

With all this beauty and brilliance, comes great responsibility and you are so gonna dig this part. Not many places have all the resources and opportunities that you do. Just look at you! You’ve got global bad guys with a lot of local money who need to rebrand themselves as good guys, you’ve got reasonably priced land, solid utilities and willing participants with strong backs and ambitious dreams. You play your cards right, you can weave this into a beautiful little recipe for a thriving community. You could be a leader instead of a follower. Shoooot, baby. You could decriminalize marijuana, get passenger rail, build a globally innovative new library or take care of your homeless population in tiny homes. You are kinda, quite literally, omnipotent.

I promise I’m not trying to be a buzz-kill here, I just gotta go for a bit and I want you to take care of this while I’m gone. It’s not like I’m asking you to make sure my cats and houseplants don’t die.  I’ve heard that it’s empowering to ask for help. This is what it looks like when I ask for your help. It will always taste funny to me, but help me anyway.

It truly is darling how humble you are, and I can’t wait to see you when you’re full of critical thinking piss’n’vinegar.

Now. Go! More soon… I feel like telling you these secrets…

xomoe

In the Interest of Full Disclosure: 3 Things

EARTHcrewMy curiosity has been piqued by this movement of reasonable thought and meaningful lifestyle choices I’ve seen creeping across America on silent little cat paws. I think there is a pretty solid chance that we are at the front end of a revolution. Historically, I suspect it may be called The Digital Revolution, but I don’t want to be so presumptuous as to think that this time is any bigger than what has come before. Still, I believe this could be the third biggie. We had fire, the Guggenheim press and now this. I dunno, I could be wrong but….. I’m not. for real.

One of my favorite components of this revolution is that we the people have access to information and, more importantly, to each other like we have never had before. We are able to gather (smarts AND friends) more efficiently and weed through the never-ending sea of ideas and connections in much shorter order. This magic combined with what appears to be a collective consciousness geared towards big change has made for some unconventional opportunities for a grown-up living a non-traditional life and a mobile skill set.

I’m taking the adventure to Alaska because I am curious, but I also want to document what I find out along the way. So I think it’s only fair at the front-end, before we all book passage, that you get to choose to come along or bail out.

THREE THINGS I HAVE TO CHECK INTO

ONE: Human Connection. How has the Digital Revolution shaped our cultural and personal landscapes? I am willing to go see as many people as I can to thank them for being my friend, basically. If it weren’t for facebook and the other arms of social media, none of this would be possible. I know how my life has changed and I am hungry to hear the similar stories that are growing more frequent and unbelievable all the time.

TWO: I have always been an open advocate for the reform of marijuana laws and legislation in America, and I have wished for a sudden halt to spending more time and money on the War on Drugs. I have 35 years invested in gathering information (and anecdotal evidence) and I research for a living. I have become reasonably well-informed on geographical, cultural, societal, psychological, personal, medical, political and professional considerations as they relate to the marijuana movement. Seems like a shame to waste that education and those stories.

THREE: Taming The beast known as worldly comforts and finding a way to exercise self-resiliency with grace and literal pioneer-ninja strength. I will carry what I own and plot a course to the west. I will travel primarily by train, document it because that’s what I do and not do so in a high-risk way. I have taught myself to be a smart digital traveler and have few needs beyond human connection and the need to sate a badass case of curiosity. I’m choosing a road way WAY less traveled and breaking it down to 100 things that weigh 100 pounds. I will not allow my well-bring to be hinged on stuff that can be lost. I’m on a quest to share moments that can’t ever be recreated.

I’m inviting you to come along. If everybody gave a buck or something there would be all this investment on your part. I know you’re curious but you’re not in a position to head west – I am. Come with. It’ll rock and I’ll show you everything. Please and thank you.

Go here to be all philanthropic and feel like you’ve got a part in this crazy adventure: CLICK HERE PLEASE

xomoe

PS: Some of the places we have been before can be found on youtube or twitter or facebook. Check it.