Thursday, December 25, 2008

I've got a feeling this year's for me and you... So happy Christmas

One of my perennial favorites, from The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. This never fails to bring a tear to my eyes.

I'm still waiting for George Bailey to lasso the moon for me, but Merry Christmas anyway, you old broken down Building & Loan! And the same to all of you, three faithful readers!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

O, Pine Tree State!

I don't want to make anyone self-conscious, but it appears I have a very devoted fan in Frenchville, Maine.

I used to have one in Pierrefonds, Qu├ębec. I wonder if they're one in the same person.

I have never been to Maine.

Please, dear devoted fan, don't let this recognition chase you away. I need all the readership I can get. It inflates my flaccid ego.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Your future is all used up

One of my favorite scenes from the Orson Welles classic, Touch of Evil, with Marlene Dietrich.

December: Triptych

Pear Upside-Down Cake Sunday

After a weekend of illness, depression-induced sleep, and further gut-wrenching stress about my job and my life, I'll repeat a sentiment I expressed elsewhere:

Do you think I'll feel better if I eat the whole thing at once?

My guess is that the correct answer is "No," so I'll just work on it one sliver at a time. The cake, that is. (As for the other issues, I have no idea how to work on them...)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

I hope that whereever you were, you were able to witness last night's conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus. It was lovely and special, really, in an old-fashioned, Romantic way -- a way that makes one think about the types of things that may have passed for entertainment and surprise in earlier times.

I'm often wistful when witnessing extremely rare occurrences like this one. I remember getting sad and anxious during the US Bicentennial year 1976. We lived very close to one of the "Crossroads of the American Revolution," and there were re-enactments galore of famous battles and historical events for well over a year. My eight-year-old mind didn't look upon these events with even a shred of cynicism, and I'm glad now that my parents made an effort to attend some of them with me.

However, even though I don't think I expressed it outwardly, I remember getting anxious and even sad thinking about the fact that if we skipped or missed any part of the events, that we'd never get a chance to see them again -- ever -- because there wouldn't be another similar celebration until the Tricentennial, one hundred years hence. It may have been one of the first times I pondered some nascent recognition of mortality, because I could relate it to concrete events. I knew what it meant; I knew somehow that there was probably very little chance that I'd live to be 108 years old. At the same moment I must have thought about what that span of a century meant compared to human lives, the lives of me and my family members. There were certain special things -- or so I thought -- that really could only be experienced once in a lifetime.

(And yes, sometime after age eight, I learned about sesquicentennials and also about the crude and somewhat unsophisticated air surrounding historical reenactments.)

So, while not to stir any anxiety in you, I do hope you were able to witness last night's astral event.

Because it's said that the next time it will occur will be after my eighty-fourth birthday.

photo from

Monday, December 01, 2008

HIV, Mon Amour

World AIDS Day 2008

I'd encourage my three readers to give something, either here, or to the charity of your choice.

Above, a cartogram showing territories based on proportions of their HIV-positive populations aged 15-49.

Below, some words from the late poet, Tory Dent, from her book from which I've borrowed the title for this post.
Where I am able to walk unbothered for a while as if along a long, white beach.
Where I am able to stand and contemplate my life, the concept and its definitions.
Where I am able to close my eyes and revel in the memory, the voice and face
the jokes, the silences, the passion, the fights, of someone I loved deeply who died.
Where trapped in the tar gut of solitary confinement I wake and am no longer blind.
Update: I meant to mention that I highly recommend Yesterday, the Zulu-language film from South Africa that deals very poignantly with HIV/AIDS. One of the best films I've seen in years.