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Books and Writers chris damitio

Cocoo the Coconut – A Tropical Children’s Story

I’ve written a nice children’s story. It doesn’t have any of the dark themes that I usually write about in it. It’s simple, lyrical, and nice. You can have a listen to it here

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2147418989/cocoo-the-coconut-a-tropical-childrens-story

And, if you are interested in seeing it in print – you can help by claiming some of the fun rewards I’ve put together on my Kickstarter page. I’ve found a wonderful illustrator and I’m trying to get enough money together to pay her to illustrate the rest of the story. I only had enough to pay her for one watercolor painting so far, but I’d like to have each stanza illustrated.

Thank you for your support! Even if you can’t support it financially – any help you can give in sharing on social media or websites or personal contacts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Cocoo the Coconut

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chris damitio

I’m a Dam Idiot – Really, it’s my ancestry

We always had stories about Native American ancestors and suspiciouns about some Asian ancestors and a lot of other stories in our family. My surname was always a bit of a mystery – it sounded Italian but we were told we were French German on that side. So, recently, I got a genetic test done to see. It turns out that we’re white people through and through. My DNA test showed that my heritage is roughly 50% Scotch/Irish/Welsh and 47% French German with about 1% English 1% Greek/Italian and .5% Eastern European and .5% Iberian (Spanish,Portuguese). The genetic test also came back and said there was a very high probablility that my ancestors were among the first European colonists to North America. It was all pretty interesting so I took a free membership the ancestry site and did some late night digging. I found some interesting brances of the family. My 4th great grandmother was the sister of Daniel Boone the great frontiersman. And, from many sides, my family had indeed come to North America with the earliest colonists – even on one of the most famous ships of them all the Mayflower. There were many prominent great uncles and such- but honestly, no real stand out historical direct ancestors. On my maternal grandmothers side there was more of that as well as a lot of McLeods, McDonalds, and McKinnons. And of course, following my name back was the most interesting. The Damitios came from France to the United States in the early-mid 1800s and always kept going west. They were probably trying to get away from the memory of what their name had once been – but even here in Hawaii – as far west as I can go – the origin of the name has finally caught up with me. Tracing the name back to the mid 1500s in Alsace-Lorraine in modern day France, I find the earliest ancestor with my name – well, the earlier version of it – Nicolas Damitio didn’t spell it the way his descendents did – back then and for a couple of generations following – our proud name was spelled in a more descriptive way. Damidiot. Yeah, I’m a dam idiot. I’m descended from dam idiots. It all makes sense now. So, let me summarize – I am a white dam idiot. If I didn’t already have a child who shares my name, I would probably consider changing it to something like Darndummy or Dangfool or maybe just Nincompoop. I’ve tried to look into the origin of the Damidiot name, but it seems that my ancestors were at least smart enough to change it and try leaving it behind – not so me, however. I’ve pulled it right back out into the daylight. Chris Dam Idiot.

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chris damitio My Mission The Life Aloha Work

Moving is Hard Work….

Just in case I forgot to mention it – moving is really hard work.Mentally and physically it is extremely challenging and the past month, I’ve been working in a state of hyper-overdrive. The amount of stuff that has been accomplished seems insurmountable when I look back on it…this is just the major list…there were countless smaller tasks and heavy objects…

1) Selling our antique store
2) Selling our little community paper
3) Training the new owners and taking care of details
4) Finding a job in Hawaii before moving here
5) Finding an apartment in Hawaii before moving here
6) Coming to Hawaii on a brief trip to secure said job and apartment
7) Packing our lives up into a 10×6 trailer
8) Delivering the trailer to Oakland and then driving back (1000 mile trip)
9) Liquidating our entire household (except what we shipped in the trailer)
10) Selling our vehicles and other cargo trailers
11) Storing my Vanagon
12) Flying across the ocean with my wife and five year old
13) Buying a car
14) Renting a storage unit
15) Furnishing our apartment
16) Starting a new career
17) Selling the trailer
18) Selling at the Hawaii All Collectors Show
19) Unpacking
20) Registering my daughter for school
21) Changing my phone anddrivers license over to Hawaii
And the list goes on and on …. technically, to be fair, this process started at the very end of May, so it’s been about 40 days … I’m exhausted and my body and mind feel like they’ve been through a serious beating…thank god it’s time to get to work. My vacation is now almost over.

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chris damitio

Busy Busy Busy Busy and Busy

I have a lot of stuff. It all needs to go away from where we live by the end of the month. My wife has a lot of stuff. Our daughter has a lot of stuffed animals. All of this is keeping me pretty busy. Packing, sorting, pricing (for a total estate liquidation) and more. I’m thankful that I bought a quality trailer, but not so thankful that it started leaking in one of Oregon’s wettest and gravest winters since they started keeping records. And the rain just keeps on coming…that complicates things…but my options are limited so I pack it in the trailer in tubs the best that I can. What else can I do? I am working very hard to figure out exactly where that trailer is going to go and how it is going to get there…moving us is easy, moving the stuff is more problematic. My Vanagon isn’t made to pull anything larger than a utility trailer – so it won’t do. I sold my Jeep Cherokee which is good because it wasn’t really up to the job either. I’m working on selling the Vanagon to raise money for our transition – but much to my surprise – the market for Vanagons seems to have cooled a bit from where it was a few months ago. This particular market seems to have peaked and then gone a bit higher before dropping down and leveling at a still very reasonable price range which is several thousand dollars below the peak. I’ve noticed a huge increase in inventory availability on craigslist in the past month – which means that for the moment – everyone who wants one and can pay for it probably has one. It probably also means that now is a great time to buy a Vanagon or VW but not the best time to sell one. So, Misefrou may come with us when we figure out exactly where we are going. That wouldn’t be a bad thing – but the money would be useful at the moment. Still, I’m doing everything I can and trusting in the universal to bring about the right circumstances. This last week was busy – my daughter had her kindergarten graduation – I was proud as punch as all the kids walked on stage and said what they wanted to be when they grow up “army, jet pilot, mother, vet, basketball player” and then comes my little girl – the smallest girl in the school and she walks up and they have to pull the mic down for her and she says in a clear and confident voice “When I grow up I want to be a paleontologist.” There were audible gasps – I’m guessing that a large number of the adults in the room didn’t know what the word meant, but she did. So proud of my little genius and the math we do every morning, the reading we’ve been working on together for years now, all the fun study we do together and the smart conversations – this was payment in full with interest. Wow. Yesterday I looked at my annual list of goals for this year and was able to put check marks next to many of them or to update with positive progress…things are happening. I am so thankful. So very very thankful. Things are happening. Good things are happening. I’ve become cautious though about counting my chickens before they hatch. There is lots and lots of work to be done still. I’d better get to it.

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America chris damitio

The World Is Not Ending unless I’m a Kastanza

So much of my life has been built on the suggestions of others. Not the least of which (actually, almost the greatest of which) was that the world as we know it was going to come crashing down. I’m naive and gullible. I believe it when people I love or respect say things – even when I should know better. Things like the big California earthquake is going to destroy us all (1975-1979) nuclear war is going to destroy us all (1980-1988) AIDS/HIV is going to kill everyone (1984-1994) there is going to be a huge race war (1976-1988) the Russians are going to invade like Red Dawn (1984-1988) Saddam Hussein is going to use chemical weapons and WMDs and destroy the world starting with the Middle East (1990-2003) Al Queda/ISIS is going to destroy America (2001-present), Y2k is going to destroy the world economy and create chaos (2000) Ebola (1994 &2011) Zika (2016), the Mayan Prophecy is going to destroy the world (2012) Obama is going to get assassinated by right wing hate-holes and a race war will rip apart the USA (2008-2012) and now Donald Trump is going to turn the USA into Nazi Germany or start a nuclear war with North Korea. I realize I’m late getting to the party, but I’ve finally reached the conclusion that the world is not going to end in my lifetime or any time soon. So I’m sharing it with you.

The problem is that in my naïveté, I was so sure that the world was going to end that I didn’t bother making preparations in case the world didn’t come to an end. I’ve lived my life in such a way that I could feel good about making the most of the time I have been alive and not worry about what will happen when I become old and unable to take care of myself. Oops.

Of course, I might just be a George Kastanza in which case now that I am preparing for a world that won’t end – it might just.

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chris damitio

The Story of My Life – Episode 4 – The Kid in the Helmet

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chris damitio

The Lead Character in My Life Story – Episode 3

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chris damitio

My Life Story Episode #1

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chris damitio

Life Stories

The problem with writing a life story is that it’s difficult to avoid telling someone else’s story and frankly, the life story should be about one person – with a few supporting characters and perhaps an adversary – but not much more than that. I’m considering how to tell my life story in an ongoing video format without making it boring or bringing others into it. I want to do this for my daughter, for any children she may someday have, and maybe even for later descendants if humanity lasts that long – or if we destroy ourselves, which seems very likely, perhaps my story will be interesting to ETs that find it someday or to highly evolved cats that eventually become the intelligent life-form on this planet. I don’t want to tell my story because it is important or even interesting – but simply to tell it. It seems a shame that it should disappear with me. The truth is that no one except me knows my story – and I suspect that is true of every human being on the planet. We have the technology to share our lives and perhaps to discover some sort of meaning in them – perhaps it is something we should do. As I mentioned at the outset, the problem is leaving other people out of it. There is no reason to specifically identify romantic partners, enemies, friends, relatives, or co-workers. It is not fair to do so, in my opinion. Every life has something to teach – I am not sure yet what the lessons of mine will be. And of course, what will probably happen is that at some point, after all the work is done and the story is completed, it will be lost – just as the spark of life itself is lost. That is the other thing I must consider because it would be a shame to spend significant time of my actual life sharing my past and thus losing my present for it and then having it lost in the future which ends up being a sad sad thing, if you take my meaning.

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chris damitio

Do what you need to do instead of what you ‘should’ do

With interest, I’ve watched the reactions of different people as I propose a series of plans that are not what I ‘should’ do. Everyone has a should of their own and they feel free to impose it on my worldview. For the most part, people have the same reactions they had when I decided to move to Hawai’i or when I decided to walk around the perimeter of Oahu or make my way by foot and thumb across Canada or move to Alaska or travel the world or start a blog or any of another gazillion ‘impossible’ things I have done. The reactions tend to be one of the following:

1) That’s Awesome. You should…(shares something they want to do or think would be of benefit). These are the people I care most about. They trust me. They know me. They encourage me.

2) Hmmm…I don’t see how you will you (fill in the blank – get the money, make this work, do this at all, etc) You should…(and they tell me that I should do something which they are doing or were told they should do). These are very often people who I think care about me, but they don’t understand me, they don’t ‘get’ me, and they never will.

3) And then there are the others – they are the haters who simply try to smash your ideas or dreams and discourage you. These people might pretend to be your friends or loved ones, but they only love themselves. At best these people are selfish pricks, at worst they are life saboteurs. People who are unhappy with their own lives and will stop at nothing to make sure that everyone else remains as unhappy as they do. Do yourself a favor, just take them out of your life.

4) One last group bears mentioning…the group who use your idea to springboard into talking about themselves. Just turn and walk away, they aren’t worth talking to or bothering with – they will not even notice you are gone (once they find another person – any person – to tell about themselves). These are the people who plant big uncomfortable kisses on you despite the fact you have told them you don’t like to be kissed. The guilt trippers who will do anything to show you how wonderful they are except shut up and leave you alone. These are the energy vampires. If you can’t stick a stake through their hearts, just do your best to avoid them.

Type 1 can be present at any stage.
Type 2 tend to be around during the naysaying – they are the type who offer help when they don’t think you need it but are often absent when you actually do because suddenly life prevents them from doing what they say…this type will offer you all the help in the world but when you actually ask them for work/results/action – they just can’t do it. I first became of this type when I published my first magazine – I had tons of backers and help offered for as long as I did all the work and paid for everything – when I needed help, everyone was busy – and six months later my magazine failed and I had a nervous breakdown. It’s best to just accept that the promises of this type are hot air and if they come through – sweet Jesus, it’s a fucking miracle.
Type 3 Haters just gotta hate, but they want you to think they do it because they care (about someone besides themselves)
Type 4 Energy suckers are worse than haters. If you can’t stick a stake through their hearts, just do your best to avoid them.

So, all of that to say – don’t do what they think you should unless it is what you think you should do and you believe it is what you truly need to do.