First Day of School, 2017

Today was the first day of school for my youngest son.

I arrived early— I always like the sun position on the first day of school. Still high in the sky, but lowering— you can feel the lowering. Bright greens remain. Blooms are still relevant.

CXO got up to see him off. He didn’t have to. Off to college soon. There were two other years like this. It’s the incongruity that sets me off at times. Two O’Neil’s in the building at all times was a rule that served us.


What I Did on My Summer Vacation.


The two. S-L went to Canada and he got a nice T-shirt.

Camera on a car.

Better remote shot.

I am sucking in my belly. I am judged by time. It is normal. I like myself. I used to wear suits to work and I used to weigh more pounds.

This is me and my teeny tiny little baby. He is a junior in high school.

I have to hold my babies in every picture in which I appear with them. Pictures mean things. They never need to hold me; I hold them.

Back to bed, to await plain bagel toasted with peanut butter from Einstein’s Bagels.

Mirrors really are something.


Obligatory Mocking of One’s Father

He is entering a vehicle. By himself.  Carseats once ruled the first day of school.

He is going to operate the vehicle. He became licensed to do so yesterday. Used to rely on blankets from the trunk. Things change. For that, I am grateful. I will not relent on wistfulness though— it belongs to me for a moment. My family allows it to me.

And off.

Into the street.

Because he can.

And he is a little baby and a very good driver and strong and ready for anything.

And I let him go like this, one of a couple thousand letting-go moments.

Growth and joy and success and why are you going without me never mind of course this is awesome and perfect and I am happy.

Oh my he really is driving to school all by himself, Shade 45, no big brother.

We are good.

One day at a time, everybody.

Doing Los Angeles, June 2017

Recently I went to Los Angeles with my youngest son. I have a tradition of going on a trip, just me and them, when each of my kids turn 16. CXO chose Las Vegas in 2015. Caleb choose Los Angeles. So we went.

Once we landed, we went downtown to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. A regal Place, doing business & absorbed with its own past, rightfully so. They deserve it.

Then we went to Soho House West Hollywood. Beautiful view.

Continue reading “Doing Los Angeles, June 2017”

The Macon I Know

I enjoy business travel.

Each time I leave home, and I have it in my head that I have to make it productive, worthwhile, and fruitful. That means doing my wurk and documenting it all. I especially love to go to a new city– somewhere I haven’t been before. I try to take my good camera on trips like this.

At the end of last month I went to Macon Georgia. It aa glorious, And had everything I liked–architecture, poetry bookstores, good coffee, and natural features of landscape and cultural history.

I stayed at a real Bed & Breakfast, mainly because it was cheaper than the chain hotel. I know it was a Bed & Breakfast  because when I got there they said. “what do you want for breakfast?” and I was like “oh wow  really?” and they were like “this is a bed-and-breakfast”.

As is my custom, I immediately set out for a bookstore that sold poetry. I took pictures along the way. This is a shot of a malformed set of bricks oulling apart from a solid set of bricks. There is a metaphor here.

“Stately” is a good word for a lot of the buildings. The heaviness of the plantation though.

The library was glorious. Going to a public library in a new Place is sort of like going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting– you basically know the configuration but something is always different.

The Wi-Fi is sponsored by the Knight Foundation. Everywhere I go, there you are.

I like their street sign system— no matter which street sign you’re looking at, you know what corner you’re on.

This building is a part of an architectural restoration drive.

Macon’s Fading Five

The real glory of Macon was nearby, at the Ocmulgee National Monument of the U.S. National Park Service.

Here’s all photos I took there at the monument.

First off, the Visitor’s Center is an Art Moderne masterpiece:

And the mounds are maintained with care and respect.

And here’s the whole set I took of my trip to Georgia.

The Tampa Municipal Office Building and its Adjacent Brick Courtyard are Brutalist Masterpieces

I have always loved Boston City Hall and its brick-colored, multi-layer courtyard. I understand this is a minority opinion. So it goes.

Until today, however, I did not know that Florida sported a rival Brutalist civic structure with an adjacent courtyard made of brick.

I was walking in a light tropical rain through downtown Tampa.

Behold the Tampa Municipal Office Building, rising over the old Salvation Army site.

And towering over an empty but nifty brick plaza at mid-morning.

The fronds and green and waterfalls made for oasis, and the plaza pavers climb the rough surface up.

There was evidence of other, inexpensive modifications— colorful glass bird-type / wall-climb holds to break up the height.

The plaza and its many layers are straight outta Boston.

Except again the tropical plants and intimate lawn furniture makes for a human scale.

The rising, and the harsh indoor lighting.

Again, height is broken and softened with palms.

Smoker passages.

The municipal function of rat baiting sits like art.

A plaque for MIAs / POWs, embossed with bamboo.

Evidence of the Rough Riders, too.

Inexplicable steel art takes its place in front of the brick-paved street, which makes for yet another texture.

Leaves, Concrete, Bird Glass.

God bless America.

Detail of concrete. Artful pocks.

Smooth joints.

Skaters cannot be stopped.

The main corner entrance, with glass rising for stories. Transparency.

Hidden entrances like Frank Lloyd Wright.

Under eaves. Color added as another sop to the heavy mental affect of Brutalism.

No one can stop the tropical gardens.

Or the deliberate passageways.

All hail the Tampa Municipal Office Building and its adjacent brick courtyard, which are Brutalist masterpieces.

Holy Trinity Songs, May 2017

I am not the most adventurous or learned consumer of music. I like what I like.

I also get into grooves, and like particular songs and stick with them now and again.

I am also Catholic, so I’m into the Trinity. These three songs are currently holy to me. I play them again and again, in the same order. It’s like going to Church.