#bartbecker

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LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP I’m Gonna Talk A Whole Lot of Shit, But I Ain’t Gonna Drink Any More Liquor. What Are You Gonna Gain? Peachy: That’s what fucked them up. Butcher: Hey, that’s all right, man. That’s the best whiskey. Pucky was telling me that Sam just drank, you know, he didn’t eat. Drink and not eat did him in. Peachy: I don’t know. He died of a heart attack. Sittin’ at the table. Butcher: Well, I’m bullshittin’. That’s just what I heard. Peachy: His wife had fixed dinner for him, he was sittin’ down to eat, he just fell dead. Butcher: Huh. Peachy: Scared her. ‘Cause they started saying that she poisoned him. ‘Cause they didn’t get along good. Butcher: Don’t give her no more. Lee Baby: Hey, Peachy, you like to jive. Peachy: I was just gonna cuss. I gonna said when they come to Omaha we fucked ’em up. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #fiction #shortfiction #shortstory #shortshortstory #flashfiction #dialogue #whiskey #liquor #thisamericanlife #americanlife #storytelling #literature #creativewriting #musicians #backstage #literaryagent #book #optimist #optimistic #seattle #newyorkstories #chicagostories #litmag #lastsetatthepressuredrop #bartbecker #bestwriter #blog #blogger #dailyblogger
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LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP I Asked So He Told Me I asked, so he told me: “You’re never gonna guard your heart. You’d better make other plans.” When I finished welding we sat and stared at the truck. There was a crummy little record player in the garage and he put on an old jazz album of Ben Webster playing those sad, beautiful saxophone ballads. About a minute into it I started bawling. He knew what was up because he just dug around in the cooler for another couple of beers, and when the record finished he turned it right over and started the other side. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #fiction #shortfiction #shortstory #shortstories #shortshortstory #flashfiction #creativewriting #author #literature #literaryagent #jazz #benwebster #thisamericanlife #americanlife #seattle #blog #blogger #dailyblog #dailyblogger #lifestyleblogger #poetry #jazzmood #americanstory #jazzstory #popfiction #oldrecords #writerscommunity #writing #lastsetatthepressuredrop #bartbecker
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 52, August 21. . . . What ever happened to intellectual curiosity and being able to think? I’m a liberal arts and social sciences man myself. A successful student requires a lot of things. First, the kid has to be curious and open to learning. I don’t know whether that is a product of genetics or environment or what. But there is responsibility – maybe the prime responsibility in all of this – on the student herself. Then, it takes committed parents who will prioritize their kid’s education and advocate for them. Who will read to the kid when they are little, who will help them think for themselves, who will watch out for them but won’t coddle them or make excuses. By “advocate” I don’t mean that they will helicopter-parent the situation, or will blame every failing on a flaw in the school system. Those flaws are going to be there, so deal with them. Successful parents will teach their kids how to exploit – in the best sense of the word – the system. And who will teach their kids how to survive and thrive when the system fails. It helps a lot if you are a rich family that can afford different summer camps and tutoring and so on. But that’s not necessary because there are lots of free or low-cost things that can open your kid’s mind. Just to name one: the library is free. One place it does take money is in the funding of the school system itself. It is criminal that the legislators have abrogated their responsibility, from the national to the local level. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #authorsofinstagram #education #school #kidseducation #journaling #journal #dailyjournal #daybyday #lifeisgood #optimist #agingwell #agingredefined #aginggracefully #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #thisamericanlife #americanlife #blog #blogger #justquitalready #bartbecker #babyboomer #seattle #secondact #oldhippie
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 51, Thu Aug 20: I know this isn’t a food memoir so I need to knock this off, but eating out of a backyard garden is superb. For just one example, I had two slices of tasty zucchini bread for breakfast. I’ve tried to have healthy eating habits for 40-plus years, borderline vegetarian (right now I’m eating chicken and fish, but no other meat – if I ate a McDonald’s burger or a steak I would have to lie down and take a nap to recover) and mainly organic and natural. Enid and I keep talking about taking even a few baby-steps more in the direction of veganism and we will probably do that. Maybe we’ll expand from one-night-a-week purposefully meatless to two nights (even though lots of weeks we are multiple meatless). Or schedule in one vegetarian week a quarter, the way we have an “eat from the larder” week every three months. Or maybe we’ll do the “vegan till dinnertime” routine. Of all the consequences, giving up cheese would be a hard sell. But, for me, all of the reasons somebody would be vegetarianish apply: healthier, more sustainable, animal-rights. It’s not because I think that cows are my brethren. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #writerscommunity #journaling #journal #daybyday #gardening #eathealthy #apples #blog #blogger #dailyfoodfeed #thisamericanlife #americanlife #aarp #over60 #silverdisobedience #agingwell #aginggracefully #agingredefined #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #lifeisgood #healthylifestyle #seattle #bartbecker #babyboomer
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 50, August 19. . . . We’ve been carrying around gift cards of unknown value from Purple Cafe in downtown Bellevue for a while so Enid says we should use them for our anniversary dinner. A decade ago Purple was the hot new thing, now it’s the established tried-and-true. We’ve eaten at the restaurant a handful of times over the years and it is always good, unlike some places you eat and the best you can say is that the food is accurately described on the menu. When we get there Purple is pleasantly crowded. We have a really nice waitress who does a good job taking care of us, though Enid has to trade in her first glass of wine because they bring the wrong thing. Otherwise, everything goes great. We open with fried calamari and aioli dipping sauce. The entrees are, for me, grilled Ahi on grilled corn; for Enid, duck confit and lentils. We split a little piece of chocolate cake for dessert. It turns out that our three cards are for $50 each and dinner runs to $125 so we are covered for the meal, plus enough left to come back for Happy Hour sometime. I got a screen door for my anniversary present. Enid got a wallet. True love is hard to find. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects) #anniversary #truelove #trueloveneverdies #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #authorsofinstagram #bartbecker #babyboomer #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #aginggracefully #journaling #dailyjournal #daybyday #oldhippie #retire #retired #retiring #retiredlife #lifestyleblogger #lifestyle #lifeisbeautiful #seattle #secondact #blog #blogger #thisamericanlife #americanlife #gifts
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 49, Tues Aug 18: Everything about Bushwick Book Club was beyond great. They are a band. I wanted to pop over to Crossroads to check them out, so we went. I had heard that they write and perform songs inspired by books, so that was intriguing and I want to see if it’s any good. With a conceit like that it could go either way. The show was at 6:30 and we got there about six so we could grab a bite to eat. We ate sandwiches from the Fez truck – falafel for me and lamb for Enid – and then strolled around the farmer’s market in the parking lot for a while, just window-shopping. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #bushwickbookclub #musicandbooks #justquitalready #babyboomer #bartbecker #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #thisamericanlife #americanlife #indiemusic #writerscommunity #authorsofinstagram #truestories #dailyjournal #journal #daybyday #oldhippie #oldnotdead #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #silverdisobedience #retire #retired #retiring #retiredlife #blog
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 48, Mon Aug 17: Time flies. I can get up at nine in the morning and do a few things and the next thing you know it’s one in the afternoon. It’s a beautiful sunny day and the view of Mount Rainier out our kitchen window to the south is spectacular. Had a bowl of fresh blueberries and peaches for breakfast; we got the peaches from a neighbor, Alex, who bought them at a roadside stand on the drive back from her cabin near Wenatchee. We had a bag of fresh green beans from the garden so I prepped and froze them: cut off ends of beans (and save in bag in freezer for making into veggie stock later), cut up beans into two-inch chunks, boil water, dump in beans for just 30 seconds to blanch, drain and put into bowl of cold water (put in ice cubes) for four minutes, pat dry, put into Zip Loc freezer bags, put in freezer. Total time: about 10 minutes. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #journaling #dailyjournal #garden #preservingfood #olderandwiser #retire #retired #seattle #secondact #oldhippie #oldnotdead #bartbecker #babyboomer #boomers #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #over50 #over60 #optimist #lifeisbeautiful #thisamericanlife #americanlife #olderisbetter #bestlife
Here’s one I wrote, “Like Wow!” I wanted to write a high-school rocker about making out with somebody who was chewing Juicy Fruit. I’ve got a bunch more over at bartbecker.com — rocknroll, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, soul. Here’s the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/c9u966ylcPA. #rocknroll #rockabilly #rockabillylife #americana #americanamusic #rhytmandblues #seattlemusic #vintagemusic #rootsmusic #americanmusic #barband #soul #country #neorockabilly #honkytonkcentral #indiemusic #musicbusiness #songwriter #nashvillesongwriter #nashvillemusic #austinmusic #indieband #songwriting #songwriterslife #thisamericanlife #tinydeskconcert #lasongwriters #realgonerecords #bartbecker
LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP Corrugated and Buzzing Hot The air was corrugated and buzzing hot. We were out under the grape arbors, eating cold fried chicken and throwing the bones in the bushes. Even the old people had on bikini shorts and undershirts, and wet hankies tied around their heads. The baby twins, the domineering little nippers, had quit playing in the Water Wienie and were just sitting bare-ass in the mud drinking warm orange pop. Nothing moved. Then the radio played “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” my sister flopped on her back to do the Alligator, and the little kids careened around her in those crazy tight circles, screaming the way they do. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #fiction #microfiction #shortfiction #writing #lastsetatthepressuredrop #shortstory #shortshortstory #writersofinstagram #creativewriting #thisamericanlife #americanlife #npr #paragraphs #getpublished #soulmusiclives #americanstories #seattle #literaryagent #blog #blogger #bookdeal #optimist #ihearditthroughthegrapevine #lifeisgood #seattlewriter #newyorkwriters #author #authorsofinstagram #bartbecker
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 44, Thu Aug 13: In retirement, you can spend entire days just doing this and that around the house. I wonder how this stuff ever got accomplished when I was working. Of course, some of it didn’t, which is why I’m dealing with the deferred maintenance now. When I was working I must have covered these little tasks in the evenings or on weekends. Now I’ve got the leisure time so I can pace myself. Today for example, before I ate leftovers for lunch at noon, I did this: 1) made a pot of coffee and drank it in a blue-and-white Bellevue East Lacrosse mug (I’m wearing a taupe-and-blue Bellevue East Lacrosse T-shirt, too – put your hands up for BELAX); 2) handled various email and Facebook communications and printed out some correspondence that I want to keep; 3) drove for some errands: the library to pick up books and CDs that I had on hold and the Post Office to mail a big letter and buy a roll of first-class stamps; 4) retrieved the daily paper at the mailbox and; 5) sat on an outside bench with a late cup of coffee to read it; 6) shuffled around the house with a Wet Wipe to clean off random smudges and fingerprints; 7) emptied the outside mousetrap of its catch and re-set it with peanut butter; 8) checked the three rat traps I set a few weeks ago; 9) did a temporary fix with nails on a rotting board on a half-wall right by our front door; 10) cleaned out Nadia’s litter boxes; 11) cruised around the house and picked up lemonade glasses and . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #nonfiction #journaling #dailyjournal #nonfictionbooks #writing #author #writer #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #thisamericanlife #americanlife #aarp #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #oldhippie #bartbecker #babyboomer #blog #blogger #seattle #oldnotdead
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 41, Mon Aug 10: I know that most of what I’m writing about here in this book of days is everyday life – it could happen whether or not I was retired– with a few adjustments to having more personal time. The reality is – spoiler alert, and it pains me to be honest – that’s what most of post-work life amounts to: the same stuff that happened before you retired. It’s not some magical world where everything is suddenly different. That’s Narnia. So much is the same, and yet everything has changed. My point – which I’m struggling to get to – is that however much life routinely trudges on, there is also much retirement-specific business – novel things you never had reason to think about before — that has to be handled. . . . . . Not to put too fine a point on it – and not to spoil the fun for anybody who is looking forward to a hobby as a Social Security buff — but trying to understand Social Security benefits is a nightmare. If you check out the “Social Security for Dummies” book from the library, it is thicker than St. Augustine’s “City of God.” . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #thisamericanlife #justquitalready #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionbooks #journaling #dailyjournal #memoir #literaryagent #bookdeal #seattle #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #socialsecurity #retire #retired #retiring #aarp #old #over50 #over60 #optimist #oldnotdead
LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP Hot Hot Hot The Pressure Drop was hot, hot, hot. Cuban music, barbecue, Red Stripe, lime slices, rubber flip flops, day-glo summer undershirts: by the time you made your way across the sweaty room you’d be wearing somebody else’s makeup. Packed hip-on-hip with sweet-tempered hillbillies and the tape came on Best of Don Cornelius Soul Train, Earth Wind & Fire, Teddy Pendergrass, and “That’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it.” That ended and the stereo cranked in with “London Calling.” Old-timey. People were feeling so good that a bunch of women went out on the porch to shoot off their guns. The only glow was a string of Tiki-god lights and ripples of heat lightning way across the prairie. A big argument started up inside. When it died down, somebody cut the main lights in there and Nat King Cole came on the box singing “Mona Lisa.” (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #fiction #microfiction #shortstory #paragraphs #shortshortstory #poem #teddypendergrass #londoncalling #author #writersofinstagram #creativewriting #creativewriter #rocknroll #soul #natkingcole #barlife #hothothot #blog #blogger #literaryagent #bartbecker #poetry #thisamericanlife #americanlife #americanmusic #austinmusic #seattle
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 40, Sun Aug 9: Last night at 9:30, while I was already lounging in bed reading there were fireworks at the Newcastle Golf Course. The whole south wall of the bedroom is windows and French doors, and we see the golf course a few miles away. Not just a few Roman candles but big explosions with huge loud booms and gigantic elaborate displays like a Fourth of July show. Presumably somebody got married or a company was having an event. It was extravagant enough that it could have even been a CEO’s wedding. We could see the show through the trees. It went on for 15 minutes and stopped. Then after 10 minutes of silence there were two more loud booms, as if somebody found a couple of forgotten rocket bombs still in a box and set them off as punctuation. Unscheduled entertainment on a Saturday night is always a pleasure. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #nonfiction #thisamericanlife #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #dailyjournal #writerscommunity #writing #author #memoir #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #seattle #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #lifeiswonderful #oldnotdead #over50 #over60
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 39, August 8. . . . We will eat a lot of this food straight out of the garden. Then we will preserve some of it (hanging the garlic up to dry; stashing the heads of cabbage in the garage fridge; making sauerkraut; freezing green beans, berries and plums; juicing; making apple-plum-peach compote and freezing that for later). I can’t emphasize enough that for every reason we like to grow food and eat it: sustainability, health, the locavore thing, off-the-grid independence, a positive activity, living lightly, economics (we get a minor kick out of seeing the prices at the store for raspberries, carrots or garlic, say, and calculating how much we just saved). Every aspect is satisfying. We’re not there yet with the people who post on Facebook that they’re putting up 29 quarts of sweet corn, but I can see us moving in that direction. For supper, we grilled (we have the regular old Weber grill that you load with charcoal briquettes) chicken/onion/pepper skewers with marinade as dipping sauce, plus corn on the cob and homemade naan, and then a quick salad of lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #gardening #garden #seattle #secondact #blog #blogger #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #author #writerscommunity #journal #memoir #dailyjournal #bartbecker #babyboomer #optimist #lifeisgood #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #aarp #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 38, August 7. . . . Unlike some of our previous cats, she submits to her mani-pedi; it’s still a two-person job, one to hold and one to clip (and how do single people manage this on their own?) but there is no hissing or side-eye or yanking of paws involved. Nadia is a big black cat and she is also known around here as “Na,” “NaNa,” “Nading,” “Comaneci” of course, “Blackie,” “Peapod” “PeeWee,” “Peeweenimus,” “Peanut,” “Peanut Clusters” and a few other endearments. You know how it is. Before Nadia was Asia, one of those all-purpose gray striped kitties. She was way more standoffish (and she especially hated the nail clipping; we had to swaddle her in a towel and pry out one paw at a time while she hissed and yanked back). I liked her style, a mix of pugilist and existentialist. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #catsofinstagram #blackcat #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #writing #writerscommunity #memoir #journal #bartbecker #blog #blogger #babyboomer #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #old #oldhippie #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #seattle #portlandoregon #optimist #optimistic
Just Quit Already: Day by Dat Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 37, Thu Aug 6: Before Elena leaves, I show her how to shake a dead mouse out of a trap and reset the trap with peanut butter. Thank god for rodent invasions, there are still things a Dad can teach to a Daughter. You start out passing along essential life skills when she’s little. How to shoot free throws, put air in the tires, drink milk straight out of the carton, play those “Louie Louie” chords. How to not freak out when the shit gets real in the middle of a storm but, rather, to keep her wits about her and deal with it and leave the breakdown until later when everything else is under control. How to not mistake five bad minutes for a bad day. How to hate Duke basketball and Yankees baseball on general principles. How to say fuck it to the haters and let things bounce off without leaving scar tissue all over your heart and spirit. How to always do your best except for those times when good-enough is good enough. How to write a thank-you note. How to enjoy life, because it’s pretty good all-in-all. How to get knocked down and get back up again. After a while you’re showing her how to build up her credit rating and set a mouse trap. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #thisamericanlife #americanlife #themoth #instastories #justquitalready #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #memoir #writerscommunity #writersnetwork #selfhelpbooks #blog #blogger #pursuitofhappiness #literaryagent #author #publishers #retire #retiredlife #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #dadlessons #oldhippie #seattle #portland
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 36, August 5. . . . Back home, Enid opens her presents and the big hit is “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys & Girls,” which she had as a kid but her mom threw out. Enid has lamented the loss from time to time over the years. We found a used copy for sale on Amazon. She spends the rest of the evening leafing through the spiral-bound, Fifties-illustrated book and laughing. So that is a real pleaser. Elena later says that when she told one of her friends the cookbook story – that her parents have been married for a really long time and there was this book her mom loved so her dad scrambled around the internet to find it – the friend replied with a sigh in partly-mock disgust, “Ugh. Happy people.” . . . (Read more at www.bartbecket.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #justquitalready #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #writerscommunity #literaryagent #writing #memoir #journaling #dailyjournal #old #oldhippie #birthdaypresent #over50 #over60 #optimist #optimistic #cookbook #aarp #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #growingold #retirement #thisamericanlife
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 35, Tue Aug 4: A routine day. Is there any other kind? I made fried eggs and tea for breakfast. Enid is out getting her hair done and then lunch with her mom; they are going to Monsoon East, one of our favorite more upscale-ish restaurants here in Old Bellevue. Depending on who is talking it’s called Asian Fusion or Thai cuisine but I’m not sure you would know it was Thai if they didn’t say so. Once when we ate there they served squash soup for an appetizer; when we walked in I didn’t like squash soup, when we left I did. I can literally take two steps off my backyard past an overgrown laurel hedge and be on a trail that connects me with a vast network of greenbelts and paths. Today I hiked southward in the forest down to Forest Drive, only about three miles roundtrip but straight up and down. One of these days I plan to take that trail and then keep going another mile or so along Forest Drive and Lakemont Boulevard over to what we still call “Matthew’s” but what is really now named Town & Country Market. My plan is to buy a backpack-load of groceries and hike back home. I don’t want to give a misimpression, though. While it’s true that I am a few feet from one trail system and only a few blocks from others, and merely a few miles from mountain hikes, it would be wrong to infer that where I live is particularly pedestrian friendly. On the walkability measure, our neighborhood is not remotely within walking distance of any amenity. First, we are at the top of a high hill; it is not flat topography. And we are in an area that’s not urban. Quite the contrary. . . . (Read more at bartbaecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #justquitalready #bartbecker #blog #blogger #babyboomer #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #literaryagent #lifesworthliving #memoir #journaling #dailyjournal #over50 #oldhippie #over60 #seniorfitness #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #optimist #optimistic #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 34, Mon Aug 3: Popped awake, ate some peanut-butter-toast and a cup of tea in a Brasil World Cup mug (no coffee in the house, what’s up with that). Enid has gone to the club for her workout. I hiked down to the Newport Library to pick up a CD on hold and a couple of magazines. It’s about seven miles round trip, so took me just under two hours. The day is overcast and light-gray. Anybody who needs evidence that libraries are relevant should come take a look. Newport Way is the best. It is tiny and one-story. They renovated a few years ago and kept just enough of the Sixties charm while getting rid of the Sixties inefficiencies. It’s always super busy but somehow never uncomfortably packed. They even figured out the parking lot dead-on because there is usually a spot available, though sometimes you have to park on the street near the Aldergate church. People are coming and going, checking books in and checking books out. Students fill up the tables, sometimes with a tutor murmuring at their shoulder. The rows of computer terminals are always full – I have used them to quickly sign on, put in a thumb drive and print something out . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #library #libraries #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #old #over50 #over60 #oldhippie #optimist #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #oldpeople #oldpeopleproblems #seattle #oldpeoplerock #thisamericanlife
LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP Guy Shot at Him, Got Me Right There “It was on a Sunday afternoon at the Pressure Drop. Band was playing ‘Messin’ With the Kid,’ fight break out. Everybody was running, I ran, too. Guy shot at him, got me right there.” “Jesus Christ!’ “Bust that big leg bone. Laid me up for about six months, then on crutches. I ain’t doing too bad now. Leg give out now and then.” (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #fiction #lastsetatthepressuredrop #microfiction #shortfiction #shortshortstory #shortstory #writersofinstagram #amwriting #stories #seattle #seattlewriter #bookdeal #blog #blogger #rocknroll #thisamericanlife #americanstories #publishing #publishinghouse #publishingconsultant #paragraphs #barstories #creativewriting #bartbecker #bestwriter #blues #americanmusic #npr
Just Quit Already! Day-by-day through Year One of Retirement August Day 32, Sat Aug 1: Got up, pulled on an old worn-but-not-worn-out white Bellevue College T-shirt – the place I worked running the communications & marketing shop for the past decade or so — and brown shorts, had pancakes, OJ, coffee and a podcast of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” for breakfast, took a four-mile walk more or less around the neighborhood, checked off some house chores, lounged around. At mid-afternoon we will drive into Seattle for a wedding of Enid’s colleague, Traci. Enid went to the bachelorette party the other night. If you believe, as I do, that love is a beautiful thing, then you probably enjoy weddings, too. This one is pitched a little younger than last week’s, as the happy couple is (I’m guessing) in their later thirties. The event is on the lawn at a lakefront house just south of Seward Park looking out onto the majestic expanse of Lake Washington. A lovely ceremony is conducted by Traci and Todd’s friend Greg who is funny, veers awkwardly close to roast-style bro-comments about Todd, then just in time gets sincere and saves the moment. I’m sentimental, so when Traci starts to cry while she’s saying her vows, I cry, too, and have to walk to the tables at the back and find a cocktail napkin to dab my eyes. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #bartbecker #babyboomer #blog #blogger #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #memoir #writerscommunity #writing #writersofinstagram #book #selfhelpbooks #read #literaryagent #literature #author #pursuitofhappiness #happinessmatters #selfdevelopment #personalgrowth #retire #agingredefined #retiredlife #oldhippie #over50 #over60 #optimist
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 31, July 31. . . . Poo Poo Point is a weird name that probably should have been focus-grouped a few more times, but it is a good place to hike. The trail is seven miles, which is long but not out of my tolerances, and the elevation gain is 1,900 feet. Straight up, in other words. It’s a real challenge for me but it is worth it when we reach the top. We are right at the place where the hang gliders launch, and close to the nudist camp. Elena rode horses for several years at Tiger Mountain Stables near here. The owner, Gary, was one of the best people involved in that whole “it takes a village” thing when she was growing up. He was classic cowboy, kind of soft-spoken and understatedly funny. He moved around with the slightest limp that told the story of his rodeo career. He had worked as a movie stuntman and now he taught stunts at the stables; sometimes we would be there for riding lessons and students would be learning how to fall from a cherry picker into a pile of foam rubber. He still did acting in commercials and sometimes he would rock a cowboy moustache when a role called for it. Elena loved to ride the horses (Tater, Rose, Friday) and she equally adored hanging around and killing time by sweeping the floor or doing little tasks Gary would make up for her. Or playing with Frank and Noodle the barn cats. One time when she was still pretty pint-sized he sent her down to the pasture just the other side of the riding ring to bring back one of the horses. “There’s no saddle,” she said. “Figure it out,” he said. She did. Gary used to joke about the nudists proximity to his trail ride routes, “We don’t see them a lot. But when we do, we see a lot of them.” . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionpublisher #thisamericanlife #seattle #getold #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #over50 #over60 #agingfit #aging #aarp #agingwell #agingredefined #npr #hiking #writerscorner #journaling #oldhippie
Here’s one I wrote called “(Do The) 64 Dances.” There is no dance called “The Hatfield” but there is a guy named Mike Hatfield, an Omaha soul shouter who would jump onstage with us and elevate the set with a few tunes like “Love Lights” or “I’ll Go Crazy.” So we hid “The Hatfield” in there just to make ourselves laugh. Hear this one and a bunch more — rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, rhythm & blues, soul — at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects and here is the You Tube link: https://youtu.be/YmDNbJz6nCk. #rocknroll #rockabilly #rockabillylife #americanmusic #americana #tinydeskconcert #tinydesk #npr #nashvillesongwriter #austinsongwriters #nashvillesongwriters #lasongwriters #songwriters #songwriter #songwriting #indieband #seattle #bartbecker #musicbusiness #indiemusic #soul #barband #rootsmusic #rhytmandblues #vintagemusic #thisamericanlife #hornband #thetwist
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 30, Thu July 30: Routine day. We’re in another hot week of 90 degree days. Hot weather was fun when we were at the cabin and could sit at the beach all day. And then when that got old, paddle out in the kayaks. It’s not quite as charming when we’re just hanging around home. I cooked up cheese omelets with potatoes and onions and we ate breakfast on the back deck at 10. It’s Seafair weekend so we can hear the Blue Angels practicing over Lake Washington but we don’t see them. Enid took Nadia down for a garden run and I took my walk. We ate a salad for lunch (all the veggies from our own garden: lettuce, carrots, kohlrabi, and cucumber). We traded our neighbor Bo a cabbage and some broccoli tops for peaches off of his super-laden tree from down by our plum and apple trees (and our disappointing cherry tree). We have a two-yard fruit orchard there. First all we did with the peaches was peel and eat. Then I had some for dessert, in a bowl with milk poured over. Then Enid made Dutch Babies for breakfast and we just dumped fresh peaches over the top. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #nonfictionbooks #nonfictionpublisher #oldhippie #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #justquitalready #aarp #aging #agingwell #agingredefined #breakfast #old #over50 #over60 #optimist #optimistic #optimism #thisamericanlife #npr #nprlife #nonfictionwriting #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #seattle
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 29, July 29. Day 29, Wed July 29: One Trick to Make Your Retirement Great: Quit your job in summer. I’m up at 7:15 and it is another sunny day. I definitely recommend retiring when the weather is beautiful so there is no doubt you made a good choice, instead of winter when you would spend that first month in cold and dark wondering what have you done. In fact, summertime scheduling is a good plan for any major life change. I moved to Seattle in July, 1985, right around this time of the year. Sunny, scorching days just like now. I had quit a job at the Lincoln Journal with no particular prospects here, so I was a man of leisure. I was living in Ballard, which was not like it is now; back then it was the opposite of hip. At night I would go out to the clubs – mainly blues bars at the time. Then in the morning I’d sleep late, get up, run around Green Lake, sit around and watch the other runners, go home and clean up. Rinse, repeat. Man, I thought, this is the life. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #thisamericanlife #downshifting #aginglikefinewine #aginggracefully #blog #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #npr #nonfictionwriting #nonfictionbooks #over60 #over50 #optimist #optimistic #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #seattle #seniorliving #agingredefined #positiveaging #retiredlife #summerfun #writerscommunity #aarp #justquitalready #socialsecurity
LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP She Was Kind of High She says, ‘I got a date.’ I say, ‘Where your date at, honey? Your date in the building anywhere? ‘Cause I don’t wanna blow your date just sitting here talking to you ’cause your date might wanna be talking to you.’ She says, ‘No, he’s supposed to come by my house and pick me up. We’re gonna go to the movies.’ ‘Movies?’ She says, ‘Yeah.’ I say, ‘Who you gonna see?’ She say, ‘No, we just going out for a movie. I met him up in the Pressure Drop and we started talking and everything. He supposed to come by and pick me up.’ I said, ‘Hey, you never saw my picture did you?’ ‘No, where you playing?’ I said, ‘Remember this picture,’ I said, ‘I was playing this picture, “Get ‘Em If You Can & Catch ‘Em All.”’ ‘She was kind of high, she said, ‘ . . . No.’ I talk to her a bit. I said, ‘Hey, honey, I tell you what, we can drink some,’ I said, ‘since you don’t smoke.’ She said, ‘Well, I’m high now.’ I said, ‘What are you high and you keep drinking this motherfucking beer?’ I said, ‘You driving?’ She said, ‘No, I’m not driving,’ she said, ‘I’m riding my bicycle.’ I said, ‘Well, you might break your motherfucking leg.’ She said, ‘ ‘Scuse me?’ (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #thisamericanlife #npr #nprlife #fiction #shortstory #shortfiction #shortshortstory #microfiction #literaryagent #writing #fictionwriting #fictionwriter #blog #blogger #bartbecker #literaryagent #bookdeal #getpublished #stories #paragraphs #americanstories #soulmusiclives #rocknroll #seattle #lastsetatthepressuredrop #barstories #musicfiction #creativewriting
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 28, July 28. . . . While she was taking care of her art business, I took care of my walk: 6.06 miles, 11,038 steps, 29 flights of elevation. I know, I know, I need to knock it off with the Health app; it is way more fascinating to me than it is to you. Other fitness news comes from Elena. She is a Division 3 varsity lacrosse player at the University of Puget Sound, and she’s really good. She texts from campus that Josh, their conditioning coach, “is really torching us” in summer workouts. She means this approvingly. On her way home Enid called and said she’d pull off the freeway on Mercer Island to pick up dinner at Freshy’s, the little fish-fry drive up. She brings home fish & chips and fish tacos. Prompting me to paraphrase the joke Herman Melville tells in “Moby Dick” about having cod chowder and clam chowder for breakfast and throwing in a few herring to add variety. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #thisamericanlife #downshifting #aginglikefinewine #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #over60 #over50 #over50fitness #optimist #optimistic #optimism #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #seattle #writerscommunity #nonfictionwriter #nonfictionbooks #literaryagent #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #npr
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One Of Retirement. Day 27, July 27. . . . Also, major news flash, I finally figured out a way to make the plum juice drinkable: Rum & Plum! Why did it take me so long to think of this: crushed ice, two capfuls of rum, a skosh of plum juice, fill the rest of the tumbler with lemonade, add mint leaves. Sit and sip. Super tasty and the combination is sweetish, but not too much. We don’t even really drink alcohol any more so who knows how the bottle of rum got into the liquor cabinet. However it happened, I’m glad somebody around here has the motto Be Prepared. The plums grew in our backyard and sometimes you’ve got to do whatever it takes for the sake of Eating Locally. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #aarp #thisamericanlife #npr #nprlife #downshifting #aginglikefinewine #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #nonfiction #rum #seniorlifestyle #seniorliving #optimist #positiveaging #agingredefined #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #silverdisobedience #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #over50 #over60 #seattle
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 26, July 26. . . . I’m running a second load of good-shirt laundry; these are the dozen shirts I will iron and hang in the closet; the other half of the business shirts that I had in my closet have been downsized and are headed for the garage sale or Goodwill. (I don’t know it yet, but it will turn out that I will barely wear a button-up collared shirt at all during this next year; maybe 10 times total, probably fewer. Next April I will do another culling of my closet and even more of these shirts will be history.) Enid’s got yoga and then plans for running errands. I move the laundry to the dryer.. . . (Tead more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #thisamericanlife #nprlife #downshifting #aginglikefinewine #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #agingredefined #agingbackwards #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #over50 #over60 #ownyourage #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #retiredandlovingit #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #nonfiction #seattle #secondact #nonfictionbooks #publishers
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 25, July 25. . . . Music wise, you know one of four things is almost certain to get played at a wedding – and maybe all of them — depending on the demographic makeup of the delegation and the time of night: “Brown Eyed Girl,” “The Electric Slide,” “Knee Deep” or “At Last.” The music for Bo and Jan’s reception is what you’d expect (minus any Beyonce or anything else more recent than the 1980s): “Mustang Sally,” “Wooly Bully,” “Electric Slide,” ABBA, lots of disco. I wonder if Van Morrison gets paid every time a wedding DJ plays “Brown Eyed Girl.” That’d be a nice revenue stream. For all of you single-but-hopeful retirees reading this, keep the faith and let this wedding be an optimistic example that it could be in your future, too. Maybe buy a bike just to improve your odds. True love is a wonderful thing and it can happen any time. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #thisamericanlife #downshifting #aginglikefinewine #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #old #over50 #over60 #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retirementplanning #retiredlife #seattle #secondact #seniormoments #silverdisobedience #gettingold #grandpa #oldandintheway #retiredandlovingit
Just Quit Already: Day by Dat Through Year One of Retirement. Day 24, Fri July 24: Enid and I bounce downtown to the Bellevue Arts Fair, a sprawling streets-parking-lots-and-alleys extravaganza of arts booths, crafts booths, food trucks. This is the opening morning of the event and it’s not yet packed shoulder-to-shoulder with 200,000 folks like it will be tomorrow on Saturday. It’s just pleasantly crowded with maybe 50,000 or so. The day is cloudy and cool. We’ve talked about attending the Arts Fair for several years but never got it together. Of course it’s a minor hassle to find a place to park and so on – we park in the lot at the Downtown Park near Old Bellevue and walk over. We have fun strolling around and window shopping the booths for a couple of hours, then come home in early afternoon. We should wash the car but instead we spend the rest of the day messing around the house. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #downshifting #aginglikefinewine #agingbackwards #aginggracefully #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #old #over50 #over60 #optimistic #optimism #optimist #agingwell #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #retirementgoals #retirementplan #seattle #retiredandlovingit #grandpa #artfair #todolist
Quit Just Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 23, July 23. . . Day 23, Thu July 23: . . . Elena is off to Tacoma for a couple of weeks of visiting friends, couch-surfing, I think she’s doing some work to finish up her paper on her summer research grant, and to get back into the conditioning room lifting and working out with the Loggers’ great conditioning coach, Josh Gray. Elena really loves this coach. She says that when the lacrosse team gets there for their 7am conditioning and he lists out the work for the session, and they say, “Aaagh, those are my most-hated workouts,” Josh simply says, “My bad. Let’s go.” . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #downshifting #aging #agingwell #agingbackwards #agingredefined #aginggracefully #aginglikefinewine #nonfiction #literaryagent #optimistic #optimism #optimist #over50 #over60 #ageisjustanumber #ownyourage #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #seattle #fitness #conditioning #conditioningtraining
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 22, Wed July 22: I’m taking a Rest Day or two from walking. The ball of my left foot all of a sudden got tender – like I had stepped on a pebble or something, but I don’t remember stepping on any pebble or something. It’s a little bit touchy for walking, especially barefoot. It’s nothing terrible, with a sock and shoe on it’s OK, but for a few blocks not a few miles. These kinds of injuries and ailments are all part of the mystery of aging. They just happen. The weird thing is, I seemed fine yesterday whether barefoot or wearing my decades-old Tevas that I still prefer to any other sandals. Then around five o’clock all of a sudden, ouch. These hot July days are great opportunities to put your retirement skills to the test. Enid made Dutch Babies for breakfast. In the morning is the chance to throw open all the doors while it’s still cool and feel like the house is a screen-porch with the sun dappling down. Mess around inside. Maybe walk down to our four-tree orchard and check the status of the crop. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #ageisjustanumber #babyboomer #bartbecker #blogger #nonfiction #bookdeal #literaryagent #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #agingbackwards #aging #agingwell #aginggracefully #old #over60 #over50 #retiredlife #agingwell #aginglikefinewine #agingredefined #retirementgoals #retirementplan #retirementlife #seattle #secondact #downshifting #optimist
Here’s one I wrote called “Intimate Information.” It’s rock ‘n’ roll. The lyrics are about undersharing and keeping my plans to myself. It’s hard to imagine anything more out of step with our current times. Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/IBCOztKVigg I’ve got a bunch more I wrote at www.bartbecker.com — rockabilly, rock n roll, rhythm & blues, soul and also at Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #americanmusic #neorockabilly #rocknroll #americana #music #seattle #seattlemusic #rhythmandblues #vintagemusic #rockabillylife #rootsmusic #americanamusic #barband #soul #country #honkytonk #indiemusic #songwriter #nashvillesongwriter #austinsongwriters #lasongwriters #songwriting #songwriterslife #realgonerecords #bartbecker #musicbusiness #oldmusic
LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP Try a Little Tenderness At Tiny’s Fruit Stand, a disintegrating tin-and-plank juke joint, it is after hours, which means only that we stop drinking B&B or Blue Ribbon –what we call “legal” — and start on the homemade — “corn” or “jar.” This is Tiny’s idea of protocol; she won’t serve the lightning during business hours. She is huge, beautiful, and counting cash at the bar with her stoic boyfriend Dimples; “cute” is the word women use about him. A couple of half-drunks with bleached bouffant hairdos start singing pretty harmony on “Try A Little Tenderness,” Tiny makes that delicate little movement with her mouth, and pulls Dimples in close. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #bartbecker #fiction #microfiction #shortstory #shortfiction #shortshortstory #writing #lastsetatthepressuredrop #shortstories #seattle #seattlewriters #literaryagent #blog #blogger #stories #rocknroll #soulmusiclives #americanstories #publishing #publishingdeal #bookdeal #rocknroll #paragraphs #seattle #tryalittletenderness
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 20, Mon July 20: Guy Clark sings: “Only two things that money can’t buy / And that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” We are enjoying a bountiful harvest. I can’t deny that I get overly emotionally involved with the tomato patch. We will eat tomatoes straight off the vine in all their forms, and when we max out I will make batches of tomato juice and tomato sauce that will go into the freezer. We will still be harvesting a few leftover tomatoes in mid-October before we tear out the garden. We also harvest garlic today. We pull them up, clean off the dirt and hang them with clothespins on clothesline in the studio. There are a couple-dozen garlic plants and they will last us into next summer. They make good gifts, too: sometimes when we have people over for dinner we send them home with a head of garlic as a lagniappe; we get fresh-out-of-the-hen eggs from a woman in our neighborhood and once in a while we give her garlic as a friendly gesture. And Enid cut flowers for two bouquets: one comprised beautiful, wispier red, yellow and purple blooms, what she called “un bouquet champêtre” (“a field bouquet”) and set on the dining table; and another of huge yellow and red zinnias . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #gardenharvest #flowers #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #journal #diary #publishers #bookproject #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #seattle #ageisjustanumber #agingwell #aginggracefully #aging #aarp #over60 #over50 #optimistic #optimism #optimist #agingbackwards
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 19, July 19. . . . I’m here to tell you that you can still be productive: I haven’t even been retired for three weeks yet and I’ve already straightened up the junk drawer. I find a startling number of different bottles and pens of Wite Out and Liquid Paper in there (I know how Wite Out works, but I cannot remember using it – at work or at home – since the Pleistocene Era), not to mention Chinook Book coupons that expired two years ago. For me, though – and this is where the fruit leather reference checks in — my lifestyle has always been pretty low to the ground. I read about people my age who seem really stressed because the money doesn’t pencil out for them. I’d never say it to their face, but I wonder to myself, what have they been doing with their past 40 years of paychecks? I made middle-class money, nothing One Percenter about it, but I managed to save a little. I know that saving is a quaint and antiquated notion, but I did it. I wasn’t a top-end consumer. But for now I will scratch any acquisitive itch by watering the tomatoes and delaying gratification until they’re ripe. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.). #ageisjustanumber #blog #blogger #bartbecker #babyboomer #optimistic #optimism #optimist #aging #agingwell #aginggracefully #old #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #over60 #over50 #ownyourage #nonfiction #publishers #publish #gettingold #seattle #secondact
Just Quit Already: Day by Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 18, Sat July 18: After my last day at work 19 days ago they routinely deactivated my email account (along with all kinds of other access on a long checklist) and just left an out-of-office message for people trying to reach me. Then today, a couple of weeks into retirement, it finally occurred to me to delete my dead work email account from my phone. This could possibly have been a significant symbolic milestone of separation. In theory, it would not be unlikely that I could have an emotional reaction, both from throwing off the chains of the 24-7 work email and, on the other side of the equation, from cutting the cord to that remaining lifeline of communication with my former identity. It’s natural that a big change like retirement would have a person thinking more deeply about every aspect of life and searching for meaning in the inconsequential. For me, though, that requires a little more introspection than I need to survive on. It’s one thing to lead the examined life, and another to be self-absorbed. The latter is a slippery slope with some dangerous tiger pits: narcissism and martyr complexes, to name two. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #ageisjustanumber #babyboomer #bartbecker #blogger #blog #optimistic #optimist #optimism #over60 #old #over50 #ownyourage #retire #retired #retirehappy #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #retirementplan #justquitalready #earlyretirement #seattle #downshifting #nonfiction #publishers #bookdeal
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 17, Fri July 17: How To Read This Book. Everybody will have their own reasons for reading a book like this and their expectations and goals for what they get out of it. Some will simply be looking for light entertainment, or possibly great literature. Some are just in it for the sex. Others, I imagine, will hope for a How-To blueprint for retirement. Working gives a lot to your life. When you deactivate, you have to figure out ways to replace the parts of it that matter to you: paycheck, work-family relationships, and a regular routine that organizes your life. My own aim for retirement is to be healthy (very), wealthy (relatively) and happy (at all times, in all ways). If I were to give a few dicta (for retirement, but also for life in general) they would include: 1) Don’t Follow Leaders (except for me, of course). 2) Be Yourself (unless you are a real asshole). Be real. In retirement you no longer have to wear that mask and costume you wore for work all those years. (If that docile middle-of-the-roader was the real you all that time, then that would be super-weird but I have to also commend you, let’s hear it for transparency and continuity.) So, while I’m recounting the things that come up in my first year off the clock – one guy walk through . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #optimistic #optimism #seniormoment #seniorlifestyle #seniorliving #agingredefined #aginggracefully #ageisjustanumber #aging #agingwell #blog #blogger #nonfiction #literaryagent #memoir #howto #justquitalready #bartbecker #babyboomer #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #over60 #over50 #gettingold #grandpa
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 16, July 16: . . . We walked around Pioneer Square, which we rarely get to these days. Our impression is that it can get pretty skeevy, especially after dark. Ground Zero for non-middle-class street behavior, at least in my ill-informed view, is Occidental Park. All those homeless guys are probably harmless, but kind of intimidating nevertheless. Tonight, though, instead of dispossessed folks, we come across about 60 people who have a dance floor laid out and a stage set up over the cobblestones, Lots of them are dressed up – a lot of black and white and red — and they are tango-dancing. Not only that, they are inviting people from the audience to come up and give it a whirl, which is nearly as daunting to me as the idea of running into thugs after dark. As long as we just observe and don’t participate, it’s fun and unexpected, though, so we watch for 10 minutes until we have to hustle back to the train station. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #ageisjustanumber #aging #agingwell #aginggracefully #agingredefined #positiveaging #optimistic #optimist #optimism #blog #blogger #retirementblogger #retire #retired #retiring #retirement #retiredlife #earlyretirement #seattle #secondact #seniorliving #seniorlifestyle #bartbecker #babyboomer #nonfiction #literaryagent #over60 #over50
LAST SET AT THE PRESSURE DROP I Can’t Help It If I’m Lucky This all started right around Easter with a song I couldn’t get out of my head –“Casanova” by LeVert. I was sitting on a green park bench singing it when he sat down next to me and struck up a conversation so familiar you would have thought we knew each other from kindergarten. It couldn’t have been even five minutes before he turned and said, “Hey, Sweet, knock me a kiss.” After that we just kept on going. I can’t help it if I’m lucky. (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #bartbecker #blog #blogger #fiction #microfiction #shortstory #shortfiction #shortshortstory #writing #literaryagent #lastsetatthepressuredrop #shortstories #amwriting #seattle #seattlewriters #literaryagent #literary #literaryfiction #stories #madeupstory #rocknroll #soulmusic #soulmusiclives #americanstories #americanmusic #nashvillewriter #literature #publishers #publishinghouse #publishingcompany #publishingdeal
Here’s one I wrote called “Givin’ It Up Tp Daddy.” It’s about a guy who comes backfrom the dead to try to warm things up with a woman working in a topless joint called the Pressure Drop. Her name’s Lu or Patty, depending what line of the lyric we’re in. Hear it over at www.bartbecker.com and here’s the YouTube link . https://youtu.be/4r6nppcfRVk #americanmusic #neorockabilly #rocknroll #rootsmusic #rockabilly #rhythmandblues #vintagemusic #rockabillylife #americanamusic #barband #soul #countrymusic #honkytonk #indiemusic #musicbusiness #bartbecker #seattle #songwriters #songwriterslife #indieband #realgonerecords #nashvillesongwriter #austinmusic #nashvillemusic #rockandroll
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 15, Wed July 15: I am barely two weeks into retirement and today I have temporarily lost track of what day it is. So that’s a good sign. It is not hard to figure it out in about 10 seconds, of course, but I did not know. Drink coffee. Read paper. Change out cat litter boxes. Pick up piles of brush around the yard and drag up to brush pile. Take photos of flowers in yard. Check Facebook (that’s what old people do, right?). Check the delivery status of a cluster-headache medication prescription I ordered (I’ve been having headache episodes since last Saturday). Delete a few emails. Eat leftover lasagna for lunch. Capture wounded mouse on the basement stairs, put in plastic bag and take up to garbage can. . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #bartbecker #blog #blogger #justquitalready #retire #retired #retirement #retiredlife #retiredyoung #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #retirementplan #over50 #over60 #aging #agingwell #age #seattle #old #retiring #retiringsoon #nonfiction
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 14, Tue July 14: Got up, puttered around. I think about getting my chainsaw serviced, buying a new wheelbarrow tire online and replacing the rubber treads on the stairs down from the workshop to the house. Instead of any of that, I spent a few hours decluttering my computer files: moving docs from place to place, deleting copies of jpgs. I started to try to figure out how to get some music from cassette tapes to digital format; I’ve got some tapes of bands I played in 35 years ago. (It will take multiple failed efforts and a couple of years, but I will eventually get this stuff successfully transferred. I buy a cheaply-made little gizmo online called an Ezcap that is the size of an old-fashioned Walkman; it lets you load a tape and a thumb drive and make the tape into digital. It seems like such a crummy piece of equipment that it can’t possibly work. But it does. Then I videos using Windows Movie Maker, using the audio and a bunch of still pictures of the bands and posters and so forth. Then I post the videos to You Tube. You can go on You Tube and search “Bart Becker” or “Pinky Black & the Excessives” or “South Street Shakers” and get a peep at what I was up to when I was around 30 years old.) There is nothing like a productive morning when the 10am sunlight is filtering through the trees and all of the doors are thrown open to make you feel like life’s worth living. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com & Facebook Bart Becker Projects. #aarp #seniormoment #over50 #ageisjustanumber #secondact #retired #retire #retirement #retiredlife #retiredyoung #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #retirementplan #over50 #over60 #ownyourage #nonfiction #literaryagent #bartbecker #justquitalready #agingredefined #blog #blogger #seattle #aging #agingwell #aginggracefully
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 13, Mon July 13: Talking about money – like sex, religion or politics – is vulgar and private. I’ll get around to sex, religion and politics in a while. An important retirement check-mark (though not the only one, by any means) is having your finances squared away – at least to the point that short-money isn’t a constant worry in your life. You’ve got to talk about it, at least with yourself, with your partner if you’ve got one, and with anybody else who is in the game with you on your team. The whole notion of retirement finances is a stressor, right? Eek, to put it mildly. But if you don’t deal with it going in, it will be a relentless affliction. Everybody’s situation is unique, so each person has to do their own version of what I did. So let me just say this: as usual, since this is Monday, I’m paying bills and planning to run errands. In with the bills is an envelope with my last paycheck from Bellevue College, mailed to me instead of automatic deposited, for some reason. So here it is, I will not see another paycheck. I know that much of what I’ve been writing about so far in this journal – lawn-mowing and drawer-organizing and walk-taking — is in one way kind of superficial and trivial, yet in another way very important to convey the downshifting that takes place when you bow out. These are the small things that will actually take up a lot of your time. Of course, whether I organize a drawer or not has very little bearing on whether I will have a happy 30 years of retirement. Being not-broke will. That’s why it’s important to deal with the more serious category when you separate from your job: the financial plan and medical coverage, and the incomprehensible stress-making nightmare that is Social Security. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com & Facebook Bart Becker Projects. ) #oldandintheway #aarp #seattle #babyboomer #bartbecker #retire #retired #retirement #retiredlife #retiredyoung #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #retirementplan #retirementgoals #retirementlife #aging #agingwell #ageisjustanumber #over50 #over60 #justquitalready #old #secondact #seniormoment #silverdisobedience
Here’s one I wrote, “Mixed Up Dazed Confused.” To hear it, jump over to bartbecker.com & I’ve got a bunch of other ones there, too: rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, rhythm & blues, soul. And here’s the YouTube link https://youtu.be/QMDFLYY3Kts #bartbecker #rocknroll #rootsmusic #rockabilly #rockabillylife #americana #americanmusic #americanmusician #rhythmandblues #vintagemusic #soul #country #honkytonk #barband #indiemusic #musicbusiness #songwriter #realgone #songwriters #songwriting #songwriterslife #indieband #neorockabilly
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 12, Sun July 12: So you can understand where I’m coming from, I should be right upfront about one thing I do: I make lists. To-do lists are the foundation of productivity. And, the way I do it, to-do lists are also an entry in the Big Book of Psychiatric Symptomatology. Life gets simpler when you are no longer a working stiff, but you still have so much to remember – both things you want to recall and things you’d rather forget but can’t afford to let slip away. Some people expand their lists beyond the mundane tasks. They make a litany of what they’re thankful for, an anthology of birdsongs they’ve heard, a compendium of favorite places to shuffle their bare feet. Some people keep a gratitude journal. Those are all fine ideas and practices, but I don’t do any of that. Pretty much every day of my working life I would make a new list on a yellow legal pad, to the point that colleagues would gently tease me about it, getting laughs at my expense with the joke that today’s list is always just yesterday’s, written on a fresh page of the tablet. Which is mostly true, but what’s so funny? It worked for me for forever. Why stop now? Then, for the past year or more – once I could see which way the wind was blowing — I’ve also been making retirement-theme to-do schedules with items large and small and basically shoving them into folders on a cubby shelf. I try to check some of them off the list from time to time. I am operating on the theory that even a few minutes of chipping away at these little tasks makes a difference somewhere down the line. Rome, the Pyramids, an organized Junk Drawer, these things take a while. First, though, I want to make progress on consolidating and organizing the lists themselves. I will probably make a list about that. We’ll see. . . (Read more at bartbecker.com & Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #oldandintheway #aarp #seattle #babyboomer #bartbecker #retire #retired #retirement #retiredlife #retiredyoung #retirementplanning #retirementgoals #retirementplan #old #aging #agingwell #ageisjustanumber #aginggracefully #agingbackwards #retirementlife #retirementrocks #over50
Just Quit Already: Day-by-Day Through Year One of Retirement. Day 11, Sat July 11. Plum juice! I know, not as exciting as Mouse In The House! from a few days ago but it is today’s project. We have a backyard plum tree that every year looks pretty from the kitchen window when it is in blossom and produces a huge crop of purple plums that mostly go unused. When they are ripe we pick a few and eat them, but they are almost too juicy to be pleasant. Most of them fall to the ground and the deer wander into the yard for their own Plumfest. We also have a couple of fruit-bearing apple trees farther down the yard near the garden. Some of the apples taste OK but they can be kind of tart and most years they are kind of pithy. Maybe they don’t get enough water down there; it’s true that we count on them to be kind of self-sufficient which is probably not the perfect fruit-orchard policy. This year, though, we’ve got a Strategic Plum Plan. We will harvest them and make juice. A lot of philosophies that I believe in and try to practice roll into this: live lightly; refuse, reuse, recycle; go off the grid; self-sufficiency; eat healthy. For decades I have enjoyed gardening (though Enid is the main gardener around here now) and eating what I grow, but another one of my philosophies is to not labor too hard at it – I want the plants to do most of the work with just a little assist from me . . . (Read more at bartbecker.com and Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #howtoretire #oldandintheway #aarp #seattle #retire #retired #retirement #retiredlife #retiredyoung #retirementplanning #retirementplan #retirementgoals #babyboomer #bartbecker #justquitalready #oldandintheway #aarp #old #aging #aging #ageisjustanumber #over50 #over60 #over70 #gettingold #secondact #seattle #seniormoment
Just Quit Already: Day-By-Dat Through Year One of Retirement. Day 10, Fri July 10: One thing that is emphasized in all the books and blogs and advice about retirement – after the admonition to have your money lined up — is that creating a social network is important. Don’t forget to do things, they say. Preferably in groups. Personally I can’t think of anything more hideous than doing things in groups. But even I get the bigger message about not becoming isolated. That can’t be healthy, even for happy well-adjusted loners. Once that daily interaction with your work-family is gone it’s too easy to just stay in the house, pull the shades, and ignore that ringing phone. It can’t end well. I wouldn’t self-identify as anti-social or an introvert or a misanthrope (true, there are people I don’t want to be around but that’s for the factual reason that they are assholes) and I like to have fun. But, my family will readily tell you, I am also happy to skip a party, a reception, a gathering. Like anybody, I’m anxious that I not reveal my hidden motivations for this. Especially since they are also hidden from me. And, still, as Fay Wolf writes, countering my instincts, “You know who’re cool and great? Other human beings.” So, anyway, tonight we are walking up to the neighborhood Friday Night Potluck at the playfield just a few blocks from our house. . . (Read the rest of this entey, and this whole project, at bartbecker.com & on Facebook Bart Becker Projects.) #justquitalready #babyboomer #bartbecker #retiredyoung #grandpa #seniormoments #seniormoment #retire #retired #retirement #retirementplan #retiredlife #retirementgoals #retirementlife #aging #agingwell #aarp #ageisjustanumber #over50 #over60 #secondact #seattle #ownyourage #earlyretirement #silverdisobedience #oldandintheway #howtoretire
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