A few days ago, my friend Russ called to remind me that he was hosting his annual Weenie Fest. Russ’s Weenie Fest is a summer staple; a collective get-together of both young and mature local artists, musicians and others who a convene at Casa de Russ and roast everything from Hot Dogs to Not Dogs.
I had been looking forward to this party all week, scheduling everything around it. Just today, anticipating the party, I juggled contractors and professional appointments around the event, while carving out time to prepare my side dish (a barley, spinach and quinoa salad, with roasted corn, black beans, edamame & tomato). I was running late, as usual, and made one last grocery stop while en route.
While I was in the grocery store, I received a text from a friend: “No party. Russ is dead.”
I convinced myself that it was a joke because I was late. Late late late. Me- always late. What kind of joke is that?! Apparently, it was no joke at all.
Just a few days ago, I spent some time on the phone with Russ catching up and making plans for Weenie Fest. The next day, a neighbor found him, early in the morning, dead on the sidewalk in front of his house. Two days later, on this Weenie Fest Day, a whole slew of people showed up at his home bearing side dishes and libations. Partygoers were met by Russ’s two children, who had to explain “No party. Dad is dead.”
Given his health, diabetes and all, no one seemed surprised by the death. And that feels weird. We all expected it- just not today . Well, then, why not today? What was more special about today than any other preceding or proceeding day? And any future date would hold the same sentiment… “We knew someday, but not today.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about my health and my future life lately, and that of my parents. Afterall, Russ’s kids are younger than me. It makes me feel like I haven’t been taking things as seriously as I should have been. On the other hand, I think, “We’re all headed that way soon enough, why not blow it out the whole way down?” It harkens the oft-repeated lyrics of Neil Young- “better to burn out than fade away.”
Who am I leaving anything for? No one. I’m unmarried and have no posterity of which to speak. Russ touched my life, but who have I affected? And for my parents… who will eventually die… How will they feel about me and what I have done, or have not done, for them?
My mind meandered to the truly macabre… What does it feel like to die? Is that it? Is it an all-consuming darkness, or an all-consuming light? Or… Is it nothing? Nothing… Nothing at all. Is all this life, and all this fuss about nothing??? Was his dying thought, as he fell to the pavement, “Gee I wish I would have partied more” Or “Gee I wish I would have gone to church more” or “Gee I wish I would have juiced more”? Or, was he just like “Oh, Fukitol… Relief… Thank you!” ???
The way I feel about it now is that, no matter how you want to live your life, make that decision. Decide. Don’t live limbo. Make your decision and live each moment towards your desired end. If you think there is life everlasting, go to church. If you think your health can save you, juice more and jog ten miles a day. If you want your business to be your legacy, set up a cot in your office. If you want to burn out, then burn out. And if you want to fade away, then fade away.
Me? I’d rather sing out. ⬅ Choose your own adventure! If you want to exit this blog feeling warm and fuzzy, I suggest you follow the link!!
My mother is one of very few people who has learned to cope with my many “quirks”. For some reason, the intricacies over which I obsess are perhaps ignorable or tolerable, at least for her. Sometimes it feels like it’s most likely the former, rather than the latter.
I have been on prescription pain meds for the past week, so my mom has been coming by to help me with things and to take care of me. The day before yesterday, I asked her to come over to pick me up so that I could get a manicure/pedicure.
Having just replaced my left rear turn signal, it is a coincidence to find irritation on this very subject.
As my mom was pulling out of the driveway, I’m not sure if it was nerves or what, but she turned on her left blinker. I thought that was pretty funny because it is something that I have also been guilty of, possibly just out of habit. I told her that I do the same thing, and we both shrugged it off and smiled.
On the way there, she neglected to use her turn signal not only while merging into traffic entering the freeway, but she also didn’t use her blinker while switching lanes, and then finally again she risked our lives and everyone else’s while exiting the expressway. Is she doing this on purpose? I am certain that it must be twice as annoying to hear her daughter (me) kvetching each time.
Am I the only one? I was under the impression that all signs would point to failure on a Driver’s Test should a person not signal while getting on and off the highway and switching lanes. Why would she put our lives in the hands of Lady Luck, let alone the lives of others within a mile radius? Their only resolve to protect themselves from my mother’s blatant disregard is by making a concerted effort to be on the swerve.
I had a little “Aha!” moment today- in the restroom, of course.
I was visiting the home of a bachelor-friend of mine today after work. He has a very true bachelor home which is outfitted with a most fantastic music collection, (very good) local artwork, some pretty neat self-made furniture items and grizzly-looking antiques.
After a bevy or two, being a typical xxchromosomal being, I had to use the loo. Despite all the intricate deco and domestic sensibilities of my friend, I went into the loo and met an up toilet seat. It’s in my general nature to be all “boo” about something like that. But I just winced a bit, lowered the seat and went about my business.
As I was washing my hands, I looked back at the lowered toilet seat, a position I felt was correct for a toilet seat. But, I realized that if I was indeed a respectful guest in my friend’s home, I ought to leave the seat the way I found it. He’s a man’s man, and lives (I’m sure) with a perpetually up toilet seat. Who am I to disrupt his domestic groove?
So, I dried my hands and ignored my Miss Molly Manners worldview, which taught me that the only proper toilet seat is a lowered and closed one. I winced once more, and with the tippiest little tip of my extended pinky, I returned the toilet seat to its full and upright position… You know, out of respect.
While preparing to move a few months ago, my hetero-sexual life-mate (live-in boyfriend) and I were clearing out the darkest crevasses of our home. Lo (and I mean low) and behold, we found a bottle of J&B from… I don’t know… 10 or 15 years ago.
Egh. So how in the hell am I supposed to make J&B taste good?
A short history of cocktail culture… Cocktails did not evolve because a slew of pretentious hipster “bar chefs” were hanging around trying to figure out cool new boozey recipes invoking pureed parakeet lips with butterfly wings as a garnish. Cocktails were primarily an American (prohibition) invention, born out of the necessity to mask the crappy bathtub/bootlegged liquor in taste, smell and visual observation.
To that end, this evening’s experimentation made me feel very “rootsy”. Aww, yesss! I am exactly like those bathtub bartenders… Just trying to make something crappy seem palatable. And here I go:
Charge a fresh bottle of Zero Water with your SodaClub fizz-making machine. Squeeze 1 oz lemon juice (app. 1 lemon), mixed with 1 oz Amarena Cherry syrup (if you are a die-hard cocktailer, these are the fancy cherries in the pretty white ceramic jar, which I am sure you have). If you tend to like things more sour, hit up on the lemon juice and draw back on the cherry syrup. If you tend to like sweeter things, then it’s vice versa. Anyway, add that concoction to your freshly made soda water. Cap. Gently mix.
Fill a short glass with ice cubes, and add about 1.5 oz of J&B. Top with your lemon-cherry soda water and a (heavy) dash of Fee’s Brothers bitters.
Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letter “T”, as in “Too lazy to make simple syrup”, and made possible by this song.
Today, it was this song. “Ceremony”, the album version performed by New Order. Nice and clean.
Maybe too nice, maybe too clean.
If you are old enough to feel genuinely flattered when you get carded, you may recall that “Ceremony” was not always so nice and so clean. You may recall that “Ceremony” was one of the last songs ever recorded by Joy Div. If you are young enough to get genuinely pissy when carded, you need to learn that when I say “Joy Div”, it is a reference to the late 70’s post-punk band called Joy Division, out of Manchester (England, not Ohio). All you really need to know about Joy Division is that lead singer Ian Curtis stole all of my wicked dance moves. Kidding. (Or, am I?)
Anyway, Ian Curtis made himself die before “Ceremony” could become the next release from Joy Division. They performed this piece a few times before his finality. And it went a little something like this.
That (kind of crappy) live recording was made by an audience member at a final performance at Birmingham University (again, England, not Alabama). Material from this show was later used on the post-Curtis Joy Division album, Still, a collection of previously unreleased material.
Here’s the shortness: After Curtis’ death, Joy Division became New Order. (Author’s note: oh crap, I hope I don’t need to explain New Order. *sigh* There is more to this than I thought.) Just after the change, New Order performed this live version of “Ceremony”, and it is probably my favorite. (Author’s note: No, I don’t use the letter “u” when I spell “favorite”, because I am not yet a complete dick. Though I do spell “grey” with an “e” instead of an “a”, so what the hell… it’s my favoUrite recording of the song.)
This particular version captures me because it emotes the mind-numbing depression and engulfing sadness of life in the first few bars, then speeds into a grand sense of optimism, which is what we all hope will save us from the abyss when we find ourselves teetering on the edge of possible infinite nothingness. In short, it is the perfect performance for the hopelessly bipolar. I love it.
And for the better days, there is this New Order piece of 1992/3 goodness. Enjoy, and have a lovely tomorrow.
How many Peeves can you spy in the photo above?
If your answer was A.), you are incorrect. Go back and try again.
If your answer was 2.), CONGRATULATIONS! You are correct!
As you can see in the photo above, some terrible and selfish person parked over the line (Peeve 1), neglecting to acknowledge the existence of any other human being on the planet. Furthermore, they took up an additional space that barely even qualifies as a space (Peeve 2), but still could have been used.
If your answer was D.), D.) is not an answer.
Q: What’s the difference between a kick line and a circus act?
A: A circus act is a cunning line of stunts.
So, I was supposed to go to the circus this past weekend in Richfield. I was all geeked up about it, but it turned out to be muddy and rainy and grey. It was sort of like playing shoe roulette with whichever pair I wanted to completely ruin next. So I ended up giving away the tickets we had previously purchased at a discount from a local florist.
Hubsband and I went to watch the elephants “raise the roof” of the circus tent at 9:00 a.m. anyhow. We saw zebras, camels, ponies, and llamas.
I was blessed enough to meet an elephant named Tracy. She’s 32, and she has freckles. Hubs asked me if I would like to take her for a spin, and my answer was all like, “Duh.”
$8 later, and off I went. I thought about running away with their company on tour several times before returning home for breakfast that morning.