I just got a dog. I tell her everything.
Why is it I seem to do my best work when I am angry?
I got a robo call the other day. Is robocall one word or two?
The robot voice on the robocall told me to press nine to speak to someone.
I didn’t press any key and the robovoice on the robocall told me I was not human.
I was shocked as I have always thought of myself as being of the human variety but apparently I have been fooling myself and loads of people all these years.
I told the robovoicerobot to go xxx himself.
My favorite robot is Woody Allen in Sleeper.
In my Dad’s last years when I did get to see him we didn’t have much to talk about which was not much different than when I lived at the house as a kid and a teenager and at breaks from college. He was already working at being detached and staring a lot which turned into his mo at and near the end.
He spent two years in Italy, France and Germany between 1943 and 45 as a rifleman in an infantry company. He saw the worst of the worst that people could do each other in the name of whatever name was being used that week. He may have even done the worst of the worst of things people can do to each other. He earned his thousand yard stare.
I can only piece his history together as he never spoke of what he had seen and done. All I have are scraps of information and maybe an anecdote from a relative who are either all gone now or on their way to being gone.
I think and I may be incorrect but when my Mom died my sister found the letters my Dad wrote to here from over there. They were married after he returned. He left as Person A and returned as Person B.
I don’t know where he went when he stared. Maybe he went nowhere or maybe he was right back there in what he liked to call ” Sunny Italy” which as everyone knows Italy was anything but during the war.
He never joined the VFW or the American Legion and to my recollection had packed up his WWll kit and kept it neatly stacked inside. Only there wasn’t anything neat or pretty or pleasant about it.
He had windows to silently stare out of. Maybe the soundtrack played in his head. Maybe it played a lot. Maybe it never went away.
He did come home in one piece I suppose but with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge I wonder how complete he really was.
I seem to recall that he was hospitalized once and as he recuperated at home in bed his midsection and chest were wrapped in bandages and there was some talk I overheard of shrapnel “working it’s way out.” This would have been sometime in the mid 1950’s a good ten years after Sunny Italy.
He never talked and we never talked and none of us ever talked and when I wanted to talk it was too late.
I got loads of post it notes and scraps of paper on my desk and in my jacket filled with short phrases, reminders, brilliant insights, examples of depressing realities and the otherwise written remnants of a confused and scattered mind.
I tend to ignore the reminders like pay the phone bill until I know I can write a check in the nick of time knowing payment will arrive just before the due date. Although with the latest Post Office struggles I may have to revise my Johnny come lately strategies. I am pleased though that I can remember to remember to write a note to remind myself of what it is or was I was supposed to remember. I think that’s the little victory in all of this for me. I remembered not to forget.
There is a series of commercials running on tv these days about a guy who is supposed to be a life coach and his mission is to keep people from turning into their parents. I personally see no problem with me turning into my parents. The spots are cute, funny and endearing but for the life of me I have no idea what they are selling. My apologies to the folks in marketing but you scored a big zero with me.
Sometimes I see me as my Dad as I and he, we, I suppose stare out a window at nothing in particular just happy to be standing tall with good posture and able to take long and clean deep breaths. He had trouble at the end of his life with breathing thanks to 50 or 60 years of cigarettes.
Window staring out of gives me the chance to disassociate from all the hell that is currently running amuck in the world. My kid lives in Austin, Texas. No heat, no water, watch the news. Let’s blame windmills.
Apparently three members of the electric oversight board of Texas live, wait for it, out of state as in not in Texas.
Back to the two of us, me and Dad. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be dialed in.
The news might just be a good thing to give up for Lent. Is giving up something for 46 days really supposed to make you a better person? Apparently 40 days is not the correct length for Lent as the Sundays in Lent when one is supposed to attend church don’t count as a day to be depriving yourself of anything and there are six Sundays in Lent meaning forty plus six equals forty six.
Any semblance to Ahab chasing Moby Dick for forty days or the forty days and nights of rain for poor old Noah are purely coincidental and at the same time intentional, I don’t know if Ahab or Noah took Sunday’s off.
Both were at sea so there’s that connection but other than that they seem to have been on their respective owns.
That’s it for this current edition notes and scraps of things to do, not to do, forget, not to forget and eventually write down into a form where other people can read them and make their own decisions as to the state of my and their own sanity.
As Groucho said, ” There ain’t no Sanity Claus.” Maybe it was Chico who said that.
You could look it up.
There is an old adage that goes something like this:
If you ask a guitarist for change all he or she will be able to produce from their pocket is a guitar pick or two.
Coming up changeless I usually offer the person behind the counter two guitar picks sheepishly saying, well, I’m a guitar player and I never have any change only picks in my pocket.
Any other normal person will always have a couple of nickels or dimes on their person, at least that’s when we all carried cash in some former another.
Recently I purchased something somewhere ( hows that for being deliberately vague?) and the total price comes to let’s say Five dollars and twenty five cents.
I easily produce the Fiver but a trip to my pocket only produces a two guitar picks of the heavy variety. I always use heavies. Someone once told me to use the heaviest picks you can find and so I do. I like the way they feels and how they sound.
The longer you play the more attention you pay to detail.
I offer the picks knowing she’ll say no thanks and then I’ll have to fork over a paper dollar.
To my surprise she accepts the picks in lieu of a quarter saying she plays guitar too.
One time when the washing machine repairman cleaned out the filters and traps in the washer he found about three dollars in change and a dozen guitar picks.
Seems to be equal in value.
I haven’t played mine in about a year. The band stopped rehearsing and besides there’s no place to play anyway.
Somehow through this dark mess of months stretching now into a year and for who knows how long I have picked it again because why not?
I have been playing and practicing a lot over the last year and I can hear my guitar voice building and starting to develop. I’ve been playing for 50 years so maybe it’s about time.
During the summer when I could sense my ears were getting better I was stopped dead in this thought and it makes sense given all that we’ve endured.
Ok, so I’m getting better, I can hear the improvement. But for who, for what? There’s no place to play anyway. Zoom doesn’t cut it and the cats don’t care.
I’ve been dragging this feeling around for months. It’s a hopeless state of mind which might only be the tip of my iceberg. Maybe these days it’s normal to feel like crap.
But I keep on playing even mindlessly strumming a chord until it connects to a neuron somewhere in my brain with music and soon a sogng appears. I’ve been listening to music since I don’t know when so there’s a lot stored up there.
Maybe mindlessly is an unfair characterization since that chord, those notes found a home somewhere in my head. How can this be?
Usually, when I post something I state an issue or a problem and by the end of the page I’ve worked out some sort of resolution. But not tonight.
This is going to be a continuing effort I think.
Hi folks, 2020 here and as most if not all of you are ready to shove me to the curb, into a dumpster and off a cliff I have few words to say.
None of the mess you’re in this year is my fault.
For example…Hurricanes are larger and more destructive. No kidding.
Everyone has known the climate is changing for years but no one really seems to be interested in taking actions that would cost money to begin to fix the problem. And by no one I mean a select group of old white men in Washington DC.
Wildfires, droughts, floods, tornadoes -See above. The changing weather is not news to anyone.
You could have worn masks. You could have stayed away from motorcycles rallies in South Dakota and campaign rallies both indoors and outdoors.
You could have stayed home at Thanksgiving but you didn’t.
You could stay home for Christmas but you won’t.
You and I’m speaking to politicians now who called the virus a hoax every day since January and now you want the vaccine to protect you from the hoax.
Nice way to cut into line just because you work in Washington.
Let the old people die first except when they are friends of the president and then they get special antibody treatment.
When was the last time a helicopter whisked you from your front door to a private floor at Walter Reed Hospital with your own cadre of doctors?
Am I angry? You bet. That fool on the hill can’t be gone too soon.
Remember, the virus would magically disappear in April when the weather got warm.
My only hope is that he disappears one minute after 12 noon on January 20th, 2021.