Sunday, September 30, 2007

I got a fire in me


I don't know what it is lately, but I got a fire in me. I mean a burning one. Every song I hear sounds like its the greatest one ever played. Every orange I eat is the sweetest one I've ever had. Every pair of pants I put on are more comfortable than all the others. My friends are becoming inanimate objects. I don't know if its that I have no confidants here, no true companions, or that I've always been borderline insane but I am developing serious plutonic bonds with inanimate objects. I am also in a constant state of flux. I seem to meandering through each day as an amoeba through a medium. Anything I want intellectually, I engulf. I absorb it. I don't know why its happening. I can't seem to find sufficient words to describe what I'm talking about.
Let me try another approach. I'm having my neighbors over for dinner tonight. I was cutting up vegetables, drinking half a day old Folger's coffee, listening to a electro-jazzy-lounge-spoken word record I brought up to the Ack (that's what I call Alaska now because the letters are AK) and I couldn't stop thinking how much I love to cut up vegetables. I was dancing around my kitchen slicing a red pepper thinking "Red peppers are really good, I don't know why I had such a bad opinion of them in the first place." I mean, what is going on up there in my melon anyways? I think I'm going off the deep end.
I think what is happening to me is that I have absolutely no friends. I have neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances, students, and fellow Mekoryukites, but I don't have a single real friend. You know, someone who has nothing better to do than hang out with you and you likewise. Sometimes that simple fact does make me really lonely. But, most of the time it makes me really busy. In the last month, I have been turning out more random and tangential art than I ever have in my life. I am almost done with a really big drawing I've been working on. I worked on this drawing for like 10 hours total now. I've never had the patience to do something like that in the past. But, now I want to do something else. I feel like I am constantly starting new things and finishing nothing. I don't want that to happen with this experience. I don't feel like it would be right for me to leave these kids after a year. I don't know what the circumstances for teachers in our dwindling population school will be next year but I think I decided in the last couple of the days that I want to come back. I'll reevaluate in the dead of winter, but as for now I like it here. Its weird, I'm going crazy, I'm pretty lonely and I don't have access to anyone who means a single thing to me, but I still like it here. I'm comfortable with myself. That's a new thing.

So I just had my neighbors over for dinner...thats why there was a pause in the train of thought. They are awesome people. Super nice, super funny, super people all around. I guess its not just them though. I found that you can find a lot of good in most everyone if you look hard enough. With some people, like my neighbors, its easy to see the shining hearts beat inside them. Some people you have to scratch away months, years or decades worth of dirt, dust, mold, mildew and grime to get the gooey center where its still warm like a fresh baked cookie. I hope thats not how people think about me. I hope I am a good person. We can all say we try. Well, we do. We can say "I am a good person dammit." We can shout it out loud in the rain. We can say it under our breath. Or we can not. Either way, its in there somewhere hopefully.
I'm going to end this rambling incoherent charade with a strict piece of advice. Think of it as a special piece of advice that could only come from someone who contemplates the goodness of red bell peppers, which are good regardless of your opinion. Please, I beg of you, purchase and play (or just play if you already own it) the album "Careless Love" by Madeleine Peyroux. Listen to it all the way through instead of watching TV some night. Write a letter to a loved one, or start a blog and tell a whole bunch of people how much beauty you see around. Tell me that you don't feel like a better person afterward. I'm not saying I'm any better than anyone else, I am saying I feel better than I used to. I feel like I am in a Bob Ross painting. Good night.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Friday!!!!

Well Friday is here, my favorite day of the week. Tonight is my first gig with WD-40. We are playing a fund raiser fiddle dance in the gym at 8 tonight. I'm excited and I hope that a lot of people will come and get down for a rootin' good time! I will try to record some of our songs so that I can post them all for you somehow. I'll write more about the fiddle dance later. I was also thinking about the future...stay tuned my chickadees.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Song Lyrics to a song I wrote called "Waiting for you, waiting for me, waiting for the next big show."


I'm waiting for you waiting for me waiting for the next be show.
Will it ever start?
The the curtains are falling down.
The actors are bowing all around.
The people are throwing roses on the stage
And I wonder if it is all worth the price we paid.
I'm waiting for you, waiting for me, waiting for the next big show.
Will it ever start.
The curtains fall on the actors now.
It came off with out a hitch somehow.
They take one last bow on the stage.
Was it worth the price you paid?
I'm waiting for you, you're waiting for me, I'm waiting for the next big show.
Will it ever start? I don't know. I never know.
Its not a matinee, its an evening show.
Its another day on this merry go go go go go around.
We go around and around and we never go anywhere.
We're waiting for you, who is waiting for me waiting for the next big show.
Will it ever start? Will it ever stop?

Song Lyrics to a song I wrote called "Where did I go"

How shall I be? If I’m nothing. I don’t know but I’ll be coming back real soon.
Where did I go? I don’t know. When will I get back? I’ll never know.
Where shall I stay? Does it matter anyway? Cuz I won’t be at your door.
I don’t know where I’m headed for But I sure know where I’ve been.
Don’t know where I’ve been But I sure know where I’m headed for.
I’m headed for a place near you.
Where will I go? I’ll never know. I will never know until I get there.
Where shall I be? If its not with you and me, I don’t want to go.
I know I seem far away. Just close your eyes my friend and there I will remain.
You can dream of you and me on a distant beach far away.
What can I say to comfort you anyway? If I got nothing that’ll make you feel better.
So I say this now, “I’ll be there somehow.” Before the end of your life I will be better.
Where did I go? I don’t even know. But mama, I’m coming home again real soon.
I’ll be coming back real soon my dear. Don’t you even fear.
Because now is the time for tears. Now is the time for laughing. Now is the time for crying. Hurting and dying, Coming and going, Twisting and froeing.
Without even knowing whether to keep going down the river bend,
I don’t want to lose you my friend. But it will be that way in the end.
Where do we go? We’ll never know. I’m sure its gotta be like a summer day.
Can I say for sure? No, but if I could I would. If I even knew that I wouldn’t want to know it. Thank you for listening now, I hope it calms you life down.
Hope you take a slower walk in the woods.
If I could see the future, I would throw it on the water.
Cuz, I like not knowing what’s gonna happen.
What's gonna happen? I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure its gonna be great.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lately


So I keep having little birdies on my shoulder. They tell me that my legion of blogging devoties is growing? These same little birdies leave me to believe that many people that read my blog feel that they have been granted some sort of magical right to not respond to what I'm writing. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. If you read this blog, you respond to this blog. See that comment thing at the end of this post? Use it. Ok I didn't want to chastise you. I'm sorry. But I mean seriously, I'm in the Bering see for crying out loud. Help a brother out.

Now on to more interesting things. I need to blog more often. Its just so gosh darn hard to fit it in between working on a 24 song underground album of my own songs, playing in WD-40 a Eskimo country western band, taking piano lessons, sweating it out at adult open gym basketball pick up games, and, oh yes, being a biology, english, math, health and PE teacher for native kids. I will try harder. I'm not a super hero, I have a beard.

So now I've scorned you. I've explained my moments of absence. Now I guess I have to weave some recent experience that happened to me that totally shakes the foundations of everything we've come to know and understand. Unfortunately I can't do that. Things are getting slow now around here. I can't believe how sneaky winter is round these parts. The weather gets cold kind of like how sleep comes on as you doze off in a car. You fight it, or you don't, but either way when you wake up you have travelled somewhere else. I must have fallen asleep somewhere because winter is here. It smells like snow all the time. It smells just like Pullman, Washington in December. Kind of dry and you know any drop will bring snow down. I guess its not going to snow for a while though. Even though my life is filled with ridiculousness and possible stressors, one step outside into the air snaps you right back to the cold drowziness of winter.
I'm getting excited though. If you haven't seen lately, my beard is getting long. I have chosen the musk ox as my power animal for its resemblance to my physical features. I can't wait till I'm wearing snowpant overalls, a puffy parka, a Peruvian Alpaca hat, my Sorel snow boots and a whole bunch of snow in my beard. I mean, its going to be my greatest moment. It will be the closest I'll ever get to such the look of such heroes as Robert Redford in "Jerimiah Johnson," Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky IV" and Tom Hanks in "Castaway." Hollywood or not, you can't knock a beard until you got one. And if you can grow one you should, it scares people. If you can't I'm sorry, we can't all be lumberjacks.
People may wonder why us beard growers do what we do. I can't speak for all of us. Also, there isn't some secret society of beard allegiance. What I do know is that between beard growers and admirers there exists a code. When you see a damn fine beard you ought to tell the man so. Or, ask the customary question, "That's a mighty fine beard you got there, how long you been growing it?" Any beard wearer will relish in the opportunity to boast about the length of time it has taken. Because, beards are really all about time. It is a daily reminder of how far you've come since you didn't have one. The last time I didn't have a beard was my freshman year of college. Has it been that long? I have a year beard now. That means its over a year long without a trim. Its taking on a new personality. Everyday I let it go longer is another day it starts to really stretch out and strut its stuff. Us beard wearers are all about pushing it to the limit. You see people try and then cut it off. Thats ok. It happens some times. Don't be afraid. I say just let go....NO wait, just let grow! Yup, just let 'er grown man. The last and best part about growing a beard is simple. Shaving sucks and is a waste of time and money. That should be reason enough.

Now the beard tirade is out of the way we never have to go there again. But lest we forget my bloggies, it is my blog. And that means if you've signed on, plugged in, buckled up, and paid for the ride you have to just wait and see what you're gonna get. I will try not to let you down.

That brings me to the next order of business. I like this blogging thing. But, I have recently been writing letters. It is a lost art in America and one that I want to become better at. If you haven't written a letter in a while, and I mean a LETTER. You know with like your own penmanship and thoughts and all that I would like to extend and invitation to write me one. Consider it your charity for the month. That way if your know it all snooty neighbor says, "What do you do to help others in the world?" You can say, "Shut up you upity beeotch, I write letters to a lonely hippy on an island in the Bering Sea. What do you do? Volunteer at girl scouts or something? Get over it and get your latte drinking butt out of my face." Besides, I'll totally write you back a wicked good letter because, quite frankly I have nothing better to do. SO THERE, its decided, either you start commenting on these blogs, or you write a letter. Your choice. And, if you've commented before know that I hold you in very high regards and please disregard the barrage of challenges and criticism.

Kale Iverson
P.O. BOX 102
Mekoryuk, AK 99630

That's where you send it ok? Now I did my duty to entertain you, you do your duty to save me from death by boredom. Peace for now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Hey Joe" Cu'Pig Style

Last night I got invited to play ukulele with the local band WD-40. They are a country/rock band of about 4 or 5 local men. The practice was held in the National Guard Armory, which was hilarious. So to continue setting the scene, there is a full band set complete with drums, amps, pick ups, pedals, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, microphones and everything in a room full of gun lockers and ARMY "Be all you can be" stickers. To add to that all the men in the band are fairly short Cu'pig Eskimo men. So as practice began I couldn't help but smile, giggle and burst out in laughter at how awesome my life is that I am playing, singing and loving "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cirus with 4 Eskimo dudes. Not only that, we rock and I fit in with my uke like a pinky finger to a favorite glove. So after practicing several songs by Willie Nelseon, George Strait, CCR, the boys start to play "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix. I don't know the chords to that song and I was looking for a song out of the book to sing. Once I realized what was happening I stopped in my tracks to marvel at the unbelievable moment I was witnessing. I was witnessing 4 Cu'pig Eskimo men, some of them police officers, fishermen, school board members and regular Joe's, hit note for note one of the coolest songs ever written by Jimi Hendrix. The same guy who melted the national anthem at Woodstock had inspired 4 Eskimo's men to learn another of his song's intricacies and play them to perfection in an ARMY building. I tell you what, that right there is patriotism, that right there is irony, that right there is my life and I love it. My cheeks hurt from smiling as I heard a face melting guitar solo by the bands electric guitar player, the spot on gut busting bass tones and acoustic guitar rhythms and perfect drumming. I can't explain what exactly I was feeling, but if you could bottle it and sell it you would have one hell of a silly time. I wish I could truly portray the absolutely fantastic scene it was to see me with those fine gentlemen play "Proud Mary" by CCR. As I belted out "Rollin, Rollin on the River." I realized what life was all about. Three years ago I could have guessed where my life would end up but in not one out of one hundred of those guesses could I have imagined anything even remotely resembling what happened last night. If that is what this life has for me, deal me in! I'm ready life, you just keep bringing one wacky curve ball after another and I'm waitin, LET'S GO!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mr. "Kassaq"

Today I got called a "Kassaq" by one of my students while they were upset at me. That is basically the term for white cracker around these parts. I was trying to get the student to do work in class. As I zeroed in on the fact that the student really wasn't doing anything, the student got defensive. My tone changed and I started taking the students argument apart. As I did this the student said "That's kassaq talk" very seriously. I wish I would have thrown the student right out of my class. But, that is what every other teacher would have done. It was a really surreal experience. If the student only knew how much time I spend trying to make my class as un white as possible. Maybe I can't though. I am, after all, white. I don't know anything about what it would be like to be Cu'pig. I will never be anything other than white. The difference between me and a lot of teachers though is that I know that 90% of the stuff we ask kids to do, especially minority students, is completely useless and pointless. That is why I spend so much time trying to do something else in class. To have those efforts appreciated in the form of basically being lumped into a group with a bunch of crusty compassionless old white teachers stings a little. Have I already lost my touch? Well, this whole thing happened in Math class. I am not a math teacher. I don't know how to teach math. I think Math is pretty much a pointless subject for a high school student. But, they have to do it to graduate. You really can't do much in the world today if you don't. Thats why I don't try to pretend like the type of math they are doing is important. I just try to help them get through it so they can do what is important, graduate and become a complete mess like the rest of us. Just like us, they will have to learn what interest rates are. They will stumble through budgeting their meager pay. They will make mistakes and some of them will be big ones. It kind of goes along with everything else you learn in life. I can't really show these kids much of anything except for how to get out of school so that they can start learning the way the rest of us did. I especially can't show them much of anything if I am a "Kassaq" to them. A Kassaq to me is someone who would never come to teach in Alaska. A Kassaq to me could give a rat's ass about their students needs. A Kassaq to me doesn't even know that this freaking town exists. I am not a Kassaq. How did I go from being at hippie festivals a month ago to being looked at like the "Man" himself in only a month and a half? I mean I'm reading the Bob Dylan autobiographical chronicles for Christ's sake.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wind blows rain sideways
Glasses covered with mist drops
Kaleidoscope eyes

Puddles in the mud
Brown water pools all around
Skies unreflected

Bare down against it
Buried faces in their hoods
Winter is coming

Outside sighs make clouds
Steamy breath fog warms the hands
When pockets fail them

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Answer these questions and you'll unlock all things mighty.


Think about what sustains you. Is it a car? Is it kid? Is it a man or a woman? Is it memory? What fills you with warmth? What makes you giggle? Why on earth don't you think like that anymore? What is holding you back from staying within that realm? What is holding you back from being happy now? Is it you? Is it me? Is it someone? Is it the government? Is it money? Is it your the decisions you've made? Is it your fault? Is it someone elses? Are you in love? Have you ever been? Have you ever had an adventure? Will you ever go on one? Have you ever helped someone? Has someone ever helped you? Are you a good person? What will people say when you're gone? More importantly, do you care what they will say? Should you? If you had to pick a song to characterize your life what would it be? Have you ever felt broken? Have you ever been resurrected? Are you the champion of anything? Do you have any friends? Does that bother you? Are you positive or negative? Are you good or evil? Are you both at the same time? Is there meaning to life? Is there meaning to your life? Do you have hope? If you could move would you? If you could change yourself would you? You can change yourself, why don't you? Does it hurt when you wake up? Do you feel good at the end of the day or like someone robbed you? Do you want people to mourn you or throw a party? Do you like to party? Do you like cake? Do you like Sundays? When was the last time you watched a sunset? What about a sunrise? Did it matter to you? Are you awake or simply dreaming? Are you here, now? If not, where the hell are you? Does any of this matter? Can you really answer any of these questions definitively? Do you ever think about infinity? Can you ever really clear your mind? Are you happy? Can you be happy? Can you make yourself happy? Is being happy important? Is it your right? What if you were stripped of everything you owned and forced to become a slave? Do you believe in aliens? Do you think aliens will help us or destroy us? Do you watch reality tv? Would you watch a show about yourself? Do you keep a journal? Do you know what it would be like if you did? Would you let others read it? Would you post it on the internet in a fairly new medium? Would you tell people about your internet journal in hopes that they would share it with others? Would you write different if you knew people were reading what you wrote? Would you ask those people questions...a lot of questions?

Would they respond to it if they read it?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Newton's Law

I don't have much of any thing to say that is going to rock the hearts and minds of you all, my devout blog followers. I just know that I have to say some things. And, if you are reading them then you just have to know what is going to come next. I can provide that for you. I can do that. I can tell you things I know. I can tell you things I don't know, like Newton. We all know of Sir Issac Newton, the famous physicist who gave a mechanized explanation of the universe and reality. We know his laws (or we know them if we payed attention in school). But I, in fact, am not talking about that Newton. I am talking about another less appreciated one, Fig Newton. I am talking about a man so glorious that his great family's name "NEWTON" is plastered and brazened across fig and artificially fruit flavor altered fig fruit chewy cookie packages in stores all over our proud America. Who knows, maybe Fig Newtons are world wide. I happen to know they exist in small Alaskan Eskimo villages in the Bering Sea. And, if they exist there then why not in Bangledesh or Iceland. I find myself so intrigued by the Fig Newton because when staring at the meager and modest cookie selection in my local grocery store I could not brake my gaze from the inviting and sumptuous pink "Raspberry" Newtons package in comparison to its more regular and less exciting cookie competition . It dawned on me, and this is an indication of my mental state lately, that it has possibly been far, far too long since I had a delicious Fig Newton, or in my lucky case a raspberry Newton. My life is so exciting that I purchased the Newtons proudly, brought them home, opened up a can of Mountain Dew that I thought would compliment those cookies I now admire so, and am currently working my way through said package. You know something? In the fast paced world I was so accustomed to, I never tried a lot of things. There just wasn't enough time to get around to savoring such a simple delight as a Newton. And, now with out all my comforts, obligations, and my relationships far away I have found something to fill the massive void left by friends and family. Its actually not something. It is someone. Newton that's who. And its not just him its his whole crew. Don't you worry about ol' Kale. Newton's crack team of fig and fruit cookies got his back.
Now at this point hopefully you're picking up a scent of sarcasm. I had to clue you into this very real and very sobering actual part of my life. After only one short month in Alaska I am not tougher. I am not smarter or cooler. I am not saving the world one child at a time. I am admiring fig cookies and contemplating their existence. Wow, that is a scary thought. But, I warned you at the beginning of this that I wasn't going to rock your world. I wasn't until now. I dare you. No, strike that, I triple dog dare you to go to the store and get yourself some freakin' Raspberry Newtons. They have a new easy open package. When you open them the smell of Raspberry goodness fills the air heightening your anticipation. What in God's name could ol' Kale have been talking these Newton's up so much for. Oh, you'll know. You'll know when you put that first Newton in you mouth. I suggest not starting out with one though. If you can fit two or three into your mouth at once I would suggest that to the less exciting and brave single Newton entry. What I'm talking about is full frontal three on one Newton delight immersion. What? Don't judge me. You are the one who doesn't even know what I'm talking about yet. You are the non Newton eater. Go ahead smart ass. Go on living a life without Newton. He went on living with out you and created the greatest cookie conglomerate known to the history of man. Do you want to live a life without trying it? I mean who are you Mr./Mrs. High and Mighty? Going around not eating Newtons. You know what, nevermind!. You make me sick. Always with your nay saying. I don't think you deserve the ultimate mixture of sin and delight that is ramming three Raspberry Newtons into you mouth at once. But know this, know it in the corp of your rotten soul. If you walk by a Raspberry Newton package with the new easy open snack seal packaging in a grocery story in the near future and do not by it, know that you are making a grave mistake my friend. A horrific and despicable mistake. Almost as big of a mistake as spending this much time reading some weirdos nonsense about freaking fig cookies. I mean really get back to work already. You lazy non Newton eating slacker. Man, you really neeeeeeeed some help. But seriously, go get some Newton's you won't regret it.

Let me know how it goes.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

When The Summer is Over


When the summer is over you can feel it mostly in your heart. When the days stray too far from those August afternoons where your whole perspective is so warm you feel like a sunset within. The summer is over when you get that first chill in the morning. It rattles right down your spine as if winter itself shot a single icy raindrop down the opening in the back of your shirt. Winter gives you a taste, not the main course. Autumn is a hypnotist apetizer. A few chilly afternoons, a succession of rainy mornings, might as well be a swinging pocket watch in front of your mesmerized eyes. Fall's soothing psychologically pinpointed voice saying, its getting darker and darker and darker. Summer doesn't end all at once, it fades without permission. It kind of ends like accepting a love ones death. You deny it at first, you reminisce about it trying to bring it back until one day usually in October you accept it. That is when the summer is over. When you put on a sweater, summer is over. When you bury your face in the nape of a jacket, summer is over. When a cool drink makes your hand painfully cold instead of being a relief from the swelter, summer is over.
Summer is freedom. Its freedom from the indoors. Its freedom from clothing. Its freedom from force. Its movement and laughter and running and jumping and airplane winging your hands through the wind out the side of a car with the window down. Summer is the smell of charcoal burquette barbeque smoke. Summer is bike riding. Summer is outside dining. When you hug someone in summer you are not separated by layers of clothing. You can smell earth in the summer. You can sleep outdoors. You can be the type of free that only comes from going to get the mail barefoot.
Summer must end though. The sweet is never so sweet with out the bitter. What is a summer romance without a fall tragedy. Tears feel unnatural against a summer sky. Tears are suited for the sting that can only come from a icy early winter evening. Fall is that descent from glory to tragedy that we need yearly to remind us to enjoy the explosions of joy that happen at times. Summer would be commonplace without the fall. The fall from warmth. The fall from freedom. The fall from content hours of late setting suns. We need the icy fall to wake us up from our dreams. We need the freezing kiss of wind that reminds us we are not immortal. Without that cold, falling reality check we would go on living forever. And, what is life without death.
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