This Great Adventure

I’m often bemused and occasionally amused by the way some people approach travel and adventure. Growing up in south San Diego when my father worked in Tijuana I got used to other cultures and taking things for what they were instead of what I expected.


I’m riding on the back of an elephant
Please forgive any typos you may note
The video I made is still uploading
You’ll have to be content with reading what I wrote
The drive here from the airport was so short
The Jeep’s heated seats barely got warm
No vegan choices at last night’s big buffet
And our tour guide wouldn’t cancel the rainstorm

Never thought when we bought this great adventure
We’d be subjected to conditions like these
Can’t even get a half-caf low-fat cinnamon soy latte
Don’t think I’m so very hard to please
How do the locals live each day with such indignities?

Our guided tour of the jungle was a bust
My iPod battery died and I was stuck
Listening to the guide drone on and on
About the okkabeest and wildebuck
I tried the WiFi on our flight over the veldt
It’s free but then of course it’s awfully slow
Can’t recommend the side trip’s extra cost
You’ll see it clearer when they make the tv show


The entire country is redolent of wildlife
Someone should take steps to deal with the smell
I’m sure the concierge would make amends
If only I could reach them on my cell
How can one enjoy the blooming sunset
When it’s purple instead of pink and orange?
And now my phone’s battery is dying
I’m afraid I won’t be finishing—


When Fiona was a baby her sister would put her finger in the middle of the baby’s eyebrows, push down, and make the baby’s face into an evil scowl. She claimed it was the little one’s evil twin and named her a contraction of the kid’s first 3 names: Fibethos (fee BETH ohs)

It’s more ridiculous than it sounds.

Since these lyrics are a bit of a parody of what she’s like as she approaches 14, I figgered naming it after her evil twin would be appropriate. And then explaining it to death.


She always comes and says good morning
At least the days she’s up before noon
And her mom asks her how are you
She doesn’t answer; too soon, too soon

Then it’s back upstairs to her room
Where the creature is reanimated
In an hour or so she’s back in the kitchen
Where her breakfast patiently waited

Our seventh child is a little bit odd
That’s how some peppers grow
She laughs when I’m funny
She don’t cost much money
She reminds me of someone I know

Her sister is her very best friend
When they’re together who knows what goes on
Singing and laughing and making art
They’re rarely asleep before dawn


Her supper is 1 ounce of chicken
And eight or nine, maybe 10, peas
In the morning I discover overnight she’s consumed

  • A package of Ramen
  • A bowl of apple and cinnamon instant oatmeal
  • Four granola bars
  • A slice of toast with strawberry jelly
  • An apple
  • A banana
  • Half a sleeve of Ritz crackers

And a cup of microwave Mac and cheese


Laminated Map of the World

I wanted to write a follow-up to my 12-minute epic Arabic trance mandolin piece from a few years ago.

This feels a bit like ordering whiskey and getting lemonade. I like lemonade, once I roll it around in my mouth a wee bit. Still ain’t whiskey.

Continue reading “Laminated Map of the World”

The Irishman and the Tiger

Kenny from Killarney was a sorry little man
Nothing that he ever did went according to his plan
Little did he know today when he went out his door
That he would meet a tiger and his life would change for sure
That he would meet a tiger and his life would change for sure

McGillicuddy’s circus was rolling into town
put up all their posters and the people gathered round
nobody was looking and and it changed our Kenny’s fate
when a hungry angry tiger snuck out through an open gate


now Kenny worked a still hidden out among the green
distilled a murky liquid he pretended was poitín
he’d barely got the fire lit when the tiger happened by
and Kenny started running just as fast as he could fly


now Kenny was no runner and he ended up as lunch
you were thinking that he’d beat the tiger; sure I had a hunch
did you really think the story could end another way?
and the tiger’s had a taste for weasel ever since that day


beautiful carelessly sultry

Hey beautiful carelessly sultry
lazily bright above
enthusiastically tightly warmly dizzy madly of

anxiously silly beside
awkwardly even between
boldly moving to measure up beyond reluctantly seen


silently tender despite
carefully crazy about
seldom recklessly foolish though
truthfully empty without


eventually happy within
perfectly better at
briefly bravely brightly blindly joyously wonderful that


Good Pair of Jeans

I was stuck on the lyrics of another song and decided, about 45 minutes ago, to switch to this idea.

Sometimes a song just needs its own space.

my fav’rite hat is crushed and flat, it’s ragged at the brim
my fav’rite boots are scuffed and scraped and looking mighty grim
my overcoat of black cashmere no longer looks as slim
but nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
just take a look at these and you’ll see what I mean
blue is best but I’d even wear ’em aquamarine
nothing beats a good pair of jeans

my sweetheart has a couple pairs with legs as long as hers
they seem to fit her well enough and follow her straight legs
follow ’em right to the ground, right where she wears her spurs
no, nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
turn around and check the mirror, you’ll see what I mean
I’m thinking maybe she should get a pair in tangerine
nothing beats a good pair of jeans

I put all the holes in these; they ain’t no acid wash
I got some from Levi and some others from Oshkosh
wear ’em when I sit and read, wear ’em when I nosh,
’cause nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
look down at your own and you’ll see what I mean
blue is best but I’d even wear ’em aquamarine
I’m thinking maybe she should get a pair in tangerine
if you know Captain Kangaroo you can even wear ’em green
nothing beats a good pair of jeans
no nothing beats a good pair of jeans