Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ashes and Dogs

My next door neighbor growing up was a woman named Fern, who, of course, I called Aunt Fern. She was a very sweet person, and even her husband Bud, Uncle Bud, was basically a nice guy. Bud didn't talk much, and didn't hang out. What he did was sit on his stoop and watch the world. He wasn't doing anything in particular, but it was important for him to acknowledge those who would pass by, half friendly, half like an MP. As he got older and grayer, he became more and more motionless on that porch to the point of being sphinx-like. He seemed to me like an ash on the tip of the cigar of the world; as long as he stayed still he could seemingly be there forever, but one quick motion and he was gone for good, which, as it turned out was how he left us...

I have many stories of Aunt Fern, but for now I'll relate the happiest. She had a small bay window area that overlooked the backyard, and she filled it with both books and plants. Growing up in very claustrophobic houses where "airflow" was almost a dirty word, a place that you wanted to go to because you could both read and breathe was a better attraction than a roller coaster for me as a kid. Aunt Fern enjoyed having me there, and we would take turns reading her books aloud.

For my birthday one year she got a book that remained a childhood favorite; Man's Best Friend, a National Geographic book on dogs. It didn't have the greatest prose, or the most technical advice about dealing with dogs; what it had were paintings. The dogs in those paintings...they were almost the Platonic Form of their respective breeds, serene as a President on a coin, and always in the best form of presentation. Working dogs working, toys having fun. Those paintings gave the animals a gravitas that mere photos could not; even when you knew the "specifications" of each dog, (height, weight,etc.) the seriousness of their image told you that was the right creature, perfectly aligned with the natural world; having a fistful of factoids about them trivialized their real power. As a child you could also gain love for both the written word and art for this book combined them to give you knowledge, and I knew in my heart how much in love with knowledge I was through simple books like this.

As an adult of course, you know that Truth and Beauty are not necessarily conjoined; but I think you actually have to believe that for a time in your life, just so that when you grant them their divorce in adolescence, your appreciation of them as individuals is that much more mature...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I am depressed...but then I remember...

"I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better it appears to me."
--Abraham Lincoln

Good enough for him; good enough for me.

I don't want to stay depressed; it's just not easy to see the way out. But I will see the way out.

Ennui -- with Ranch

Today was a day to forget -- a bit of wackiness, a cool call from Cammie early in the evening(!), -- hey where's master Noah? -- even in the background he seemed full of energy that could not be contained by the apartment...thus his urge to trash the place..., and a pack of Veronica Mars to watch! Plus Butterfield 8 which, to my surprise, was produced by none other than Pandro S. Berman, the producer of all the Fred and Ginger musicals! I'll be damn! Potato chips...too many were consumed...why eat dinner when a plastic bag is full of BBQ goodness....Potatoes and I, we go way back...

No editing here, consciousness in full stream mode...perhaps I will dream of dancing spuds...Adieu!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cammie and I worry about Holiday Spending

"Isn't everything just ducky, Cammie, darling?" "Why yes, Ron, every little thing is just wonderful!"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'll take up Cammie's Challenge!

I am 43% Punk Rock.
Not Quite Punk.
Well, I may know what punk is, but... Okay maybe some people think I am punk, but is that enough? Nope.

Ah, but that means I'm from Green Day...