A Verbal Eats Shoots Leaves Problem

In her 2003 book, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves“, Lynn Truss points out the problems of a lack of punctuation or too much punctuation in terms of meaning and how the reader parses the words.

If one is a panda bear: one eats shoots & leaves.

If one is a serial killer at a diner: one eats, shoots & leaves.

Recently, it came to light or at least dawned on me that one of my favorite rather stupid self-jokes was having a verbal Eats, Shoots & Leaves problem.

At age 37 in 2005, I decided in the moment that I shot this photo that it was time for me to retire as a punk rock concert photographer, band booker at Alex’s Bar, and editor of a set of anarchic bon viviants around town. That autumn, I took off for grad school in CompSci and went on to focus on tech and mobile for the next x amount of years.

In the last 7 or so years, I have realized that while I may be retired from the LA music scene, I am still a punk at heart – thus – I am a self-styled semi-retired punk.

The joke I tell in face to face conversations is about being a semi-retired punk rocker.

What has been relayed back to me by several tech friends is that a few folks believe that I am rich from SF/CA tech and so I am now semi-retired from work and that the punk bit is just a description.


In the infamous words of Scooby Doo, “Barrooo???”



How did a conversation about my former life in the LA punk scene (1982-1988 and then again 1998-2005), of which I am mostly retired from turns into me semi-retired from work at 52 because…???

And yes, I am trying to pivot away from full-time tech work into more creative work, but…

Let me be clear. I am a professional art weirdo and I always have been. Or punk. Or whatever the youngs call it now. Ever since I went freelance in 2000 – 20 f’ing years ago – I do a lot of things and most times several gigs at once to keep the various boats afloat and remain creatively happy.

Additionally, in the last seven years, I have severely scaled my life down to 2.5 storage rooms, I have no fixed abode, I have a small elderly RV, and a MeFi so I could go Digital Nomadic in several waves of letting go.

Since the great 2011 Nokia mobile related meltdown, I find tech boring at best and/or society destroying and soul sucking at worst – thus, I don’t talk about it any more even though I still make earth monies from web dev style activities.

Shocking. News at 11.

And, yes, I have written two JAFF humor novels and when I am ready I will release them to Amazon on my time schedule. Self-published.

Shocking. News at 7.

Isn’t that what we have spent the last 24 or so years doing? Building up the web so that all of us can reach an audience without gate keepers?

I don’t know about you but that is why I have spent 1996-2020 making websites and mobile apps – so that creatives and other weirdos can create, make, have a career, and find their own space online.

If you are not listening to my words – but are instead projecting your own stuff onto my bad jokes – then you are willfully misunderstanding me.

F*ckin’ Eats, Shoots & Leaves… Or was it Eats shoots & leaves?