The Muse of the West, Too; or, Vintage Postcard Tells the Other Side

There are those people who stand in the middle of fragrant sage or wide, billowing prairies,

amidst Joshua trees or whispering pines

and LIKE IT.

And then there are those who DON’T.

Poor Real. Probably missed the lawns and picket fences . . . → Read More: The Muse of the West, Too; or, Vintage Postcard Tells the Other Side

Arizona’s Byways; or, Space as a State of Mind

Space. Hard to find in New York City but possible, especially if you find Space, A State of Mind, in places like a subway car or a train or an apartment’s window, per interesting discussions with fellow New York bloggers, CO (My Private Coney) and Alana (Smoke and Gaslight).

What I miss most about traveling out West . . . → Read More: Arizona’s Byways; or, Space as a State of Mind

From Everyday to Epic; or, How to Transform a Road Trip

Road trips aren’t all Tombstone and saguaro vistas and ghostly Indian Wars forts. A lot of road trips are deadly dull. Exhibit A, from a trip in Idaho.

Note that I actually like Idaho. But this part made me go insane with boredom and eat the driver, which caused problems later on. (I recommend garlic and . . . → Read More: From Everyday to Epic; or, How to Transform a Road Trip

Roadtrip Sidebar #4; or, A How-To Wyatt Earp Makeover

Wyatt Earp brought himself from pragmatic businessman/lawman/gambler/loyal brother

to epic gunfighter of the high plains.

A straight-talking, straight-shooting saint to pray to when life needs dividing into black and white.

How’d he DO that? How can we do that too, before our ending credits?

1. Accept your averageness . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #4; or, A How-To Wyatt Earp Makeover

Roadtrip Sidebar #3; or, Tombstone’s Wyatt Earp, Pre-Makeover

It was a messy fight–short, bloody, and confusing, the way most fights are that aren’t guided by judges, rules and regulations, and a boxing ring.

Cue Frankie Laine, please…

Thanks. It’s also the epic that caused Tombstone, Arizona, to revamp itself from fading mining town to THE Wild West town, and the draw that sucks tourists from . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #3; or, Tombstone’s Wyatt Earp, Pre-Makeover

Classic Western Setting 2; or, Tombstone, Boots, and Val Kilmer Souvenirs

The rental car rocked and shook on the narrow trail–I mean, road. Tucson and its spangly lights and hard-hearted soiled doves had been left far behind. My urban cowboy and I were heading south toward the frontier, toward adventure, toward a date with destiny and hopefully some great souvenirs.

I had high expectations of Tombstone. OK Corral. . . . → Read More: Classic Western Setting 2; or, Tombstone, Boots, and Val Kilmer Souvenirs

Roadtrip Sidebar #2; Finding Happiness; or, Your Own Do-It-Yourself Monument Valley

This do-it-yourself landscape is for the times when you aren’t near endless skies, rugged land, and enigmatic vistas (cue that tu-wheee hawk screech from every movie that shows a stark, red southwestern landscape).

Monument Valley (and a 1964 Chevrolet), “in a class of its own, stands on its own”!

Happiness is visiting Monument Valley to get a . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #2; Finding Happiness; or, Your Own Do-It-Yourself Monument Valley

Man vs. Nature Quiz Answers; or, Humans in Need of Rescue

The camera pans across a rugged landscape—sparkling white mountain tops far off, sage stirring close up, and a trail winding through pines. A rider on a horse appears, seemingly from the very earth itself: the hero, at one with the wilderness yet separate. And watching this on a crisp, high-def flat screen, we are one with . . . → Read More: Man vs. Nature Quiz Answers; or, Humans in Need of Rescue

Meet Your Destiny; or, Take a Man vs. Nature Quiz, If You Dare

The setting of a movie is as much a character as the two-legged kind that populate the scenes. Your own setting or environment can either support or be in constant conflict with you and your dreams, kind of like a many-armed kraken that spews fire and lightning and plays practical jokes.

Yes, these are defenseless kittens. . . . → Read More: Meet Your Destiny; or, Take a Man vs. Nature Quiz, If You Dare

The West’s Westness, Part 2

Westness is in the eye of the beholder.
I was on the hunt for the most western of western images and I discovered westness in

cactus-shaped cookie jars, by God.

In vast space encircled by mountains. (People find this openness either really scary or really refreshing. I recommend bringing a gallon of water per day either way.)

Westness . . . → Read More: The West’s Westness, Part 2