A bit of jiggery pokery

sol4Morning, campers. Ah, I kind of wish I were camping right now, but only if it stopped raining, which it is currently doing like gangbusters. Weren’t April showers supposed to have happened already? I have errands to run today and really don’t want to run them in the rain.

Well, things. Things about Sol: I got my Sol-fill last evening, opting to rock him while he slept whilst game-playing was going on in the other room. Which was fine because I was feeling distinctly antisocial and had been all day. Man, having a grandbaby is going to be SO good an excuse for feeling antisocial. No no, can’t do that, I’ve got to read to the baby. No, must build blocks with the baby. Baby needs changing, baby needs his bottle, baby needs to hear a nonsense song or some Emily Dickinson… Sweet. I’ve been trying to see him at least once a week because he’s growing so fast and filling out. Last night his face looked older! Soon we’ll be attending his college graduation, or wedding, or swearing-in, or some other adult rite of passage. Too soon he’ll be setting HIS baby on my knobbly, spider-veined old lady’s knees.*sigh*

The older I get, the faster Time goes. That’s okay, though—I kind of like it. The only way this could potentially suck is if the theories of an Afterlife are false, and all we are is left moldering in our graves or as ashes floating on the air. But then, we won’t know, will we? So even that doesn’t matter. I’m living a good and happy life, overall, and have no regrets.

Well, except for my unfinished projects, but they’re not so much regrets as they are mild disappointments. I have two uncompleted novels on my computer and have been toying with the idea of writing a cover letter for them that goes something like, “Okay guys, I LOVE this up until page 110, where I stopped really crafting sentences and started steamrolling through them just to get the story out, thinking I’d go back later to spiff it up, which obviously didn’t happen.” That kind of thing. Disclaimers and excuses to my kids, who will mostly not give a rat’s ass about any of it. I have paintings I haven’t finished. I have a shoebox filled with cassette tapes of me playing the piano and singing songs I’ve written, along with notebooks of the song charts, and really, what will they do with those after I’m dead? Listen to a couple songs, get a little teary, or not, maybe they’ll cringe, and put them back into the box where they’ll sit in the basement until their children discover them and do the same thing. Or toss them immediately. Who wants a bunch of dusty old cassettes lying around, especially when there’s no way to play them? (Who among us owns an 8-track cassette player? Or even a turntable?)

At most, they’ll be a family novelty. Actually, no, I guess at MOST I could have a genius musician great-grandchild who’ll rewrite them and make them into gold records. Or, hey, I could come back as my OWN great-grandchild and do it myself. And finish those damn novels. There’s an idea.

Pish, it really isn’t about the things we leave behind us. It’s about who we are while we’re here.

Random other things off the top of my head:

~I find Steve Coogan hilarious. Yesterday I saw his movie, Alan Partridge, and was actually glad I was by myself because nobody else I know would understand why I was giggling to the point of tears. His face is funny to me, and all his expressions. I really do love him in everything he does and will never stop laughing at the memory of the sequence in Hamlet 2, where he was trying to write a school play, or at the brief glimpse of his wobbly bits as he launched into a kung fu kick onstage in front of his students. He’s fearless. He can also play it straight, as he proved so wonderfully in Philomena. Yep, Steve Coogan, there he is.

alan partridge

 

~Season 7 of Doctor Who came to Netflix streaming so I watched it, or kind of watched it. It was very hard to watch and made me nostalgic for the old “new” Who days, so I started over with Season 1. Holy smokes, what a difference. Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, so great, and the stories, the vast wonderful STORIES… Seasons 1-4 have subtlety and depth sorely lacking in the last few seasons, despite the occasional interesting episode in 5-6. I was blown away by the difference. (I do realize that ‘subtlety’ is not a word usually associated with the show, but by comparison, it fits.) I thought I didn’t like the last seasons because of Matt Smith, whom I truly, madly and deeply detested in the role from the very beginning, especially on the heels of my favorite Doctor, David Tennant, but I don’t know that it’s all his fault, or even much of his fault. I think it could simply be the sub par writing, which doesn’t give me huge hopes for Peter Capaldi, awesome as he could potentially be. Anyway, Doctor Who will likely still be on the air when Sol is setting his babies on my knobbly knees so I’m not going to despair. They are SERIOUSLY going to have to work out the Regeneration problem, however. Technically, it seems they’ve already screwed the pooch on that one. [Note: I just watched The Time of the Doctor and pretty much hated every minute of it. The Regeneration thing is... what? He got an extra one just because? I don't get it. Anyway, weirdly, after seeing Peter Capaldi in those two seconds of screen time I suddenly really super missed Matt Smith. Flabbergasting. I am not excited for the next series. In fact I'm almost dreading it.]

~I took Horatio to the vet to get microchipped a few days ago. He was terrified to the point of drooling like a Saint Bernard, poor little thing, as he hadn’t had a vet’s visit for four years (after having gotten all his kitty shots and neutering in his first year and because he’s a healthy indoor cat and hasn’t needed one). He was a trooper, there was no biting or scratching, and by the time he was back in his carrier in the car, he was curled up on his blanket, calmly watching the world go by. I thought the last place he’d want to be after that would be his carrier, but to my surprise he spent the next few hours playing happily inside and out of it while it sat on the living room floor, and when Scott picked it up to carry it to storage later, he followed him to the door. He was clearly energized by his outing so I’ve decided to get him a halter and lead and start training him to go on walks. By “walks” I mean just in our back yard because there are too many dogs being walked in our neighborhood and that’s just courting trouble. But it’ll be nice to get him outside where he can feel the grass on his paws and scratch in the dirt and smell all the wonderful outdoor smells that cats love. He needs more fresh air than the screened windows and doors offer. I think it’ll be fun. I optimistically think it could be fun.

[Some of this desire to get Horatio safely outside was inspired by a book I read: A Street Cat Named Bob, by James Bowen. I read the sequel, too. This kind of ties into my Doctor Who paragraph in that I was able to squeal with delight at the guy hawking, "Big Issue!" in the first episode because that's what Bowen was selling for awhile in his book. I'd had no idea what it was before. Bob---a ginger cat very similar-looking to Horatio---was a stray who basically adopted James and they proceeded to save each other. A quick, heartwarming read and I totally recommend it!]

street_cat_bob_James_Bowen

~I just finished an art project that turned out exceedingly adorable, but it involved drawing, coloring and cutting out minute figures that I then glued onto painted scenes, an activity which would leave me sporting massive, dizzy headaches that lingered for the rest of the day. For several days in a row I had to take breaks from work every 10-15 minutes just so I wouldn’t keel over. Even with glasses, the constant adjusting my eyes had to do did me in. Gah, frustrating, especially because I really like this medium. For, really, the very first time in my life I’ve been stymied by a physical limitation, kept from something I really want to do because I simply can’t do it.  I asked my mom the other day if she’d ever thought, at my age, that she would be dealing with the physical problems she has now and she said, emphatically, “Never! It never even crossed my mind.” Hm. The only thing that gets easier as we get older, I think, is that our broader experience can give us insights and depth impossible when we were younger—but everything else goes to shit. Hah! Fun times ahead. However, there IS all that antisocial grandbaby-rocking, and I am not going to argue with that.

~I read a masterpiece of a book called The Son by Philipp Meyer. It spans four (actually, five, I think) generations of a Texas family, beginning with the bloody kidnapping by Comanches of the story’s main protagonist, Eli McCullough, as a young boy. Weaving back and forth in time, each chapter focuses on one character per subsequent  generation, as well as McCullough, and through them we are able to experience what life was like through the 1800s until present time, at least for this particular family. I found it fascinating and was in awe of the author’s ability to create a riveting story with such scope. He’s young too, so hopefully he’ll write plenty more.

Scott and I are both reading the Repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson, which is turning out to be rollicking good fun, especially as an overall arc is developing between the books. That ratchets up the quality by a million, in my opinion. It’s funny—I had just finished reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, which I mildly enjoyed, when I picked up the latest Repairman Jack, Conspiracies, and there was a marked difference in the depth and breadth of storytelling between the two, in Wilson’s favor. Even so, Uncle Stevie carries weight with me, and the presence of a blurb on the front of the first Repairman book, The Tomb, proclaiming King as president of the Repairman Jack fan club, gave me a keen thrill of delight. There is simply not enough time to read all the books I want to read and they just keep coming, inexorably coming!

Would you believe it? I’ve finished writing and the sun has decided to show up! Perfect. I’m off to do my things. I hope you have a lovely weekend. xo

 

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