Monday, February 21, 2011

the bachelor, wrath of balthazar: part 3

in order of appearance: very sweet, overly sweet, crazy sweet, bitter sweet. 'nuff said.

al came over this afternoon. he brought me a chuck roast from a cattle farmer he knows in morrow county. yes, grass fed. goes in the crockpot first thing in the morning. we talked, made plans, played guitars, sang, split a bit of wood. made plans. he knows i'm struggling: with grief, alcohol, depression, regret, guilt. he brought me a chuck roast from a farmer he knows. he's a great brother.

i'm not lonely. but i do feel very much alone most of the time. but i didn't for an afternoon.

69 comments:

rundeep said...

Bachelor, beef and brotherhood. You had a 3B day! We spent the day at the cancer center. Brother, if you ever want to realize how good you have it, find one to go play music at, or lend books to, or somesuch. It's difficult to do, to balance hope and optimism and cheer with pragmatism and palliation and frustration. Yet, they manage to do it all day every day in an epic war of tiny battles. Win as many as you can. A nice metaphor for life, methinks.
Also, how can you be alone when so many people live in your computer?

Michael said...

I'm unable to think of anything to add to what Rundeep said. That kinda sucks, ya know, when someone starts off a conversation with something really pithy and wise, and you're left standing there with your dick in your hand. Don't get me wrong, Rundeep is good people but would it be so hard for her to let the cool, smart, helpful advice trickle out a little at a time? Fuck, uh...crock put huh? Yeah I got one of those recently. You put chunks of meat and veggies and shit in there an let it simmmer for a long time, right? Makes the whole house smell like somebody there knows how to cook? I gotta take my crock pot out of the box.

switters said...

rundeep, the nurses on the 6th floor at knox community hospital were angels, and at one point we all had them singing "it is well with my soul" in 4 part harmony. that was that sunday before. al goes into surgery (sp?) and he and lisa want me to stay with them to keep the fire going, and to keep the fire going.

mike, it's a giant roast, will feed me for a week. al has a 96 ford f250 diesel, best truck ever. he drove home from my place in an ice storm in order to back to his family and his guitar to try out the chords to "plush" that i taught him. 3 inches of snow atop an inch of ice tonight. but i suspect we got off easy compared to you guys. he's a sweet man; always has been. and it makes me smile sadly.

Michael said...

You've got more snow than I do Swit. That 22" dump has completely melted. Can you believe that? In three weeks, all gone. We got an inch tonight, and that's all of it. Thank god for that two week melt. We hit 59 deg last week. A mechanic you can trust, a brother who delivers a roast, and a dog who can tolerate your company. You're blessed my friend. (and people in your computer to boot)

Penal-Colony said...

All your struggles are related and they cousin us all. I know many of us have never physically met, but we've been reading each other for years. I keep thinking it's like we've come to the banks of a mighty river together. There it is out before us ...

Your humour is legendary. Your writing skills are extraordinary. I haven't heard you croon or pluck [no sound file, yet], but if your music taste is anything to go by. Well. And man can you grow a mean-ass tomato. Plus, as Michael correctly pointed out, your dog seems to tolerate you. rundeep believes there are fairies in your computer. Then let us sing a fairy song and dance a fairy tune:

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.

switters said...

mike, she really is a great dog. i couldn't find her this afternoon for about an hour, and there she was over by the old wood shed interested in something that lives underground. i believe the current mole death count is 13. fortunately she brings them right up to the house, like trophies. funny you mention the mechanic. he's a real character, in a sublte way, loves what he does and all that. blessed indeed.

john, i can't sing, but i can belt out some alice in chains. tomorrow may be the first time we've seen the sun in what seems like months. if i can make it to april, the rest will be downhill, hopefully in the good sense. i suspect my struggles are part of my penance (sp?), and redemption seems so far away. also, not a lot has seemed funny lately, though i must confess i've deleted several movie reviews and an expose on how democracy sweeping the middle east is directly related to dick cheney's mechanical heart mishaps. oh, and your friendship is very important, and profound, if that makes sense.

Cindy said...

Brothers are rather rad. They just sort of know how to show up. I'm lucky to have a couple of winners.

I took some pictures today of our amazing Japanese Magnolia that is blooming with such abandon it is almost embarrassing.


I like April. It's a good month for you to make it to. And beyond.

switters said...

cindy, april is when i prune the apple trees, seriously prune them. they're overgrown and producing too much. i'll wait for the blossoms and then thin them out appropriately. then i'll start my apple juice monopoly. then i'll plant my tomato seedlings in my mobile greenhouse that i've not yet invented. good times.

Cindy said...

Good times, indeed!

It must feel good about now, to know you've got some serious pruning ahead. How many do you have? What kind of apples?

As I crunch my next one I'll think of you and your trees, and the looming apple juice monopoly.

I was hoping for something along those lines with our Meyer Lemon tree...but sadly we got a little overzealous (or something) and this year had a mere 26 fruits.

They were the best ever, but not enough to take over the lemon market.

topazz said...

we've come to the banks of a mighty river together...perfect.

switters said...

cindy, just 2 mature trees which we think are a red delicious and a granny smith. but before i die the west lawn with be a massive peach grove.

topazz, i think it's gonna have to be the ohio river.

switters said...

i love how it clears up just in time for the sun to go down so it can plummet to 10 degrees over night. split plenty of fire wood and stacked it in the house. moonpie is currently barking at invisible creatures a la the village. roast was fork tender. i've lost feeling in my left leg.

rundeep said...

Shrieky boy with the bad glasses got through on Idol? Man, I hate it. But God, is Jennifer Lopez beautiful. And she's not even loopy like Paula.

topazz said...

Went to another funeral today. (Hold on, this one turned out to be a blast) My brother-in-law's mother died on Friday - my sister's husband's mother. Doug's mom had alzheimer's for most of the last decade so she was taken away from the family in degrees, an insidious disease. Before it infiltrated and took over her wonderful mind she'd been a warm, funny, intelligent and very generous woman. She and Doug's father lived in a sprawling cape cod house - not ostentatious but the kind of home anyone would love to grow up in. Three acres, a barn with a pony, an in-ground pool with a sliding board, lots of climbing trees, that sort of thing. Me and my kids spent as much time there over the summers as my sister and her kids did (the cousin advantage) and both of Doug's parents and his brothers were family to us all. After a lovely and brief (Catholics could take a lesson) funeral service, we all walked across the street to a sunny, 200 year old cemetery, one of the most picturesque and bucolic I've ever seen. From there, we walked right down the road to a rustic old country hotel/bar. That was about 2 o'clock this afternoon. And from there, well all I can say is - there aren't many late Wednesday afternoons that I find myself dancing on top of a table in a bar (I was hardly the only one, nor the first to get up there) while the rest of you were still driving home from work...

bright said...

Mild stretching, and go to town for some more supplies, apparently.

Lousy Smarch weather.

switters said...

help

bright said...

Tia has my contact info, and you are roughly 3 hours away.

switters said...

i'm ok. god doesn't make mistakes.

topazz said...

OKay, maybe enough already of me posting about every Tom, Doug and Harry's dying mothers? Speaking of mothers you might or might not want to grow up with - Jennifer Lopez looked positively sizzling at the grammys, but if anyone saw "Fashion Police" with Joan Rivers afterwards, what she said about Jlo was hysterically funny (no matter what you think of Rivers)

switters said...

topazz, thank you. many times over. rundeep, vermont castings blazing, and i'm not. just a bit of snow, right, bright?

bright said...

My friend Amy in Cbus saw crocuses breaking through today. You're probably just getting rain tonight anyhow.

switters said...

just fed moonpie, and she had a special treat: roast beef gravy on her food. she's earned it. such a good dog.

Cindy said...

Saw a bumper sticker today that said "My border collie is smarter than your honor student" ... and I thought of Moonpie.

switters said...

must see tv.

switters said...

cindy, moon is happiest when we're working outside in the cold. she just runs. but she sure likes her naps next to the stove.

rundeep said...

Vermont Castings is back in business since the fire. But tonight it's warm here (after the weekend snow), and it will be rainy and windy the next few days. Hey, is it just me, or are the American Idol kids actually ....talented? Way too much warbling to be sure, but, ya know, I could actually like this crew.

Dogs. Are. Awesome. Mine love to lie in my lap, with their paws on my shoulders. Which would be sweet if they weren't 80 pounds each.

We're always here in your computer if you need us. Like faeries. Except, we are Americans, so we spell it "fairys" damnit. My daughter is in a middle school production of Into The Woods tomorrow. I approach with the customary combination of warmth and dread.

topazz said...

Okay swits, this smacks of spring, stays on topic AND will make you laugh (i hope) ....(I also hope the link works)
http://www.backwater-productions.net/data_archive/images/funny/I%27ll%20Be%20Dead%20Soon.jpg

topazz said...

uh, it works if you copy and paste it into your browser. Go on, do it.

bright said...

Maria, I'm going to see a junior high school production of The Hobbit (two boys from church) tonight, so I'll pray for you if you pray for me.

Assuming we can go anywhere - everything is closed around here today.

switters said...

man, more snow, and straight-line winds out of the north. i think i've turned amish. though i have electric occasionally, and i shaved my beard, but yeah, i've turned amish. i miss the lutheran liturgy, lamb of god you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us and all that. charlie sheen is a talentless tool, but we all knew that. if i can just make it to spring.

that's the last of moonpie's gravy, until supper tonight that is! i think i'll just continue to spoil her.

but dang, this wind. 2 foot drifts on the easement. that's a long walk to the mailbox.

bright said...

I'm pretty sure there's a Lutheran church nearby, dear. Give you something to do on a Sunday, anyway.

I feel bad for Duckie, he doesn't deserve to suffer for Charlie. And how is Holland Taylor still alive? She looked that old and played that part on Bosom Buddies.

Yeah, the wind. They even closed the university until noon!

switters said...

ps. bright, it's truly beautiful. pretty in pink? al has surgery (sp?) march 10. he wants me, okay, lisa wants me to stay with them, to keep the fire going. what did i do to deserve my inlaws.

did i mention that i live in the middle of corn and bean fields?

quite pretty, with moon under 2 ancient quilts, made by esther's mom.

switters said...

i.e., gather the harvest from the seeds that were sown so that we may be fed with The Bread Of Life. and so forth. so, i've turned amish.

switters said...

i'm tired of being cold.

bright said...

Layers. The secret is layers. Add and subtract as needed.

My mom went to school with Amish kids. But she said they were slum Amish? (My mom is snobby about the weirdest things.)

I'm determined that today is going to be a CLEAN ALL THE THINGS day. Right after I play a few more minutes of this game and read a few more blogs and...

switters said...

moonpie doesn't like to go into town. she's like mr. benett. she'll whine in the back seat and then pout when i get back from the store. she prefers to run around collecting dead things, and then to sit right outside the door. dad, she's such a good dog. my mom met her twice.

switters said...

my grandparents, the marlows and the kadings, they never complained, at least not out loud. strong, tuff people, proud people. always cold, always tired. farmers.

will not ever tell me who i am?

rundeep said...

Huh. My family complained all the time about everything. They still do. They might secretly be Jewish. As my Jewish friends used to say, "the more you complain, the longer God lets you live." Which is my way of saying, I'll tell you who you are: the talented, long-lived son of some impressive genes.

Bright, consider the prayers said. switters, "Lamb of God" is so much more awesome as Agnus Dei. Lately, I'm thinking I need to go to a Latin Mass. The less I understand what they want me to say is the more I can approve of the beauty of the ritual.

As a friend of mine from the frozen tunda (literally) of Nova Scotia said to me last night: "even in Canada, spring comes every year." So it will be for you all. Stay safe. And warm. Smooch a puppy for me.

switters said...

made it into town. no one there.

bright said...

Sun is shining.

switters said...

blue sky. grant us peace.

bright said...

Well, I didn't clean all the things but I did clean the oven and the bathtub.

switters said...

there's a picture in a small album that julie gave me in michigan that shows 6 old women; pretty sure it's the church basement in lonerock iowa at dad's memorial. but i don't know who they are; maybe mom's dad's sisters. dammit.

Cindy said...

I'm mesmerized by old pictures of old people. Especially if they're related to me. Or even if they knew people related to me.

Somehow you can see it in their eyes.

Recent photos of old people too. I"m getting much more tolerant of (read that: interested in and friendly toward) old people as I get older.

I think I used to be condescending toward them, even if unknowingly.

Now, not so much.

Tomorrow, even less.

Weather passes. Soon it will be roasting.

switters said...

july and august were awful in the ham. here, there's always a breeze. that's gotta mean something, especially if dog is happy. of course a breeze up here in march means drifts. good days and bad.

switters said...

just figured out "plush" is in g. yes, i'm technically retarded. my nephew levi is a really good young man.

Cindy said...

Do you listen to any Britten?

switters said...

just "a boy was born", but only because my teacher made me. perfect. he knew him, called him benji.

Cindy said...

I have a great fondness for him, especially his smaller operas. "Death In Venice" may be my favorite opera ever.

(That's putting it in competition with Verdi and Rossini et al, not Wagner)

And I also really loved Albert Herring. And Curlew River. These are small, kind of intimate pieces.

I think of them when you write about the snow drifts and the winter. They are pieces of music that I bet had to be written (initially anyway) in great solitude.

And maybe cold solitude at that.

I'm trying to get my head around this piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqb7vAYk4w8&feature=related I do kind of like it so far. Kind of reminiscent of Keith Jarrett.

I may be going along these lines because the piano tuner called today and will be here next week.

Cindy said...

Wow, listen to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaf8SEAz9o&feature=related

And I'm not usually a fan of Debussy, but wow.

switters said...

cindy, music helps me think that we're not doomed. and that there are people like bright_virago and rundeep that keep me breathing.

bright said...

The boys were just wonderful in The Hobbit. They were in the first Sunday school class I ever taught.

'Night all.

switters said...

fire's going good, finally. cold morning! car talk then wait wait.

rundeep said...

"into The Woods" was shockingly good. The stage alone would be the pride of many a college production, much less a middle school. bright, mutual prayers worked!

Cindy, I need to call my piano tuner also. Debussy is my favorite for playing, because it's all soft, misty, and indistinctly pretty. Just like me! (Ok, not really).

Keep smilin' sugar plum. Spring is in the air. It's March weather here. Near 70, then snow, then a melt, then rain, then cold. The indecision is hopeful.

switters said...

i have wyso as my npr station. man is it bad, for the most part. folk shows that ask what's worse, this song, or the one i'm about to play? that one. but they carry this american life saturdays at noon. thank god (for npr).

switters said...

seriously? wyso, this is why "a mighty wind" is funny, retards, and why moonpie flees the house, and won't come in till jeopardy.

hope.

rundeep said...

I so love This American Life.

switters said...

ira glass. fiascos. (sp?)

folk music. i swear i wrote a parody sketch of this 4 years ago for snl. drunk, no less.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnSxtv5BnZo

Cindy said...

Just listened to an Ira Glass interview on Thursday in the car, and he talked about one of his first assignments for NPR - the 70th anniversary of Oreo cookies!

He also played about 8 minutes of a story they didn't end up running.... hilarious and sad. I love that combination.

At our local public radio station (WFSU) we are currently running a group of announcers/newscasters who seem desperately to be trying to sound like the Old Spice Guy. On a horse.

Not quite making it.

bright said...

run, I pressed my luck and went to a teen company production of Little Women this afternoon. Two hours is too much time, sometimes (though the Beth scene did make me cry a little and the girl who played Aunt March nailed it.)

The Ann Arbor station is good, streams online, but they do air a lot of depressing stories about Michigan.

switters said...

oh, good, moonpie just brought another dead mole into the house. i guess 4 wasn't enough. she looks at me like she's doing us a favor, which she is, and i can't do anything but laugh and give her a big hug.

little women and debussy (sp?). i loved playing claud. better for me than bach.

switters said...

ps., snl rerun with host anne hathaway (sp?). must see. also, thanks. also, i think it will stay above freezing tonight. cool.

Penal-Colony said...

Saw & missed your kind note, meaning I wasn't on time to respond before deletion.

Thanks.

We're well into spring. Busy rotovating & sowing now, nipping, raking etc. Is there any surefire way to eradicate magpies?

Dad rallied for election returns. Lotsa Hoo-hooing and splenetic purging.

Keep warm.

topazz said...

just returned from seeing "The King's Speech" with my father. Although I gushed all over "The Social Network" now I'm seeing what all the fuss was about with this film: Colin Firth is brilliant, Geoffrey Rush is superb - they both deserve the top honors, no question. Much as I loved Jesse Eisenberg - his time will come, I'm sure.

rundeep said...

Loved the King's Speech too, nancy. However, I think Eisenberg had a harder job really -- to bring layers to a complex dweeb without recognizable issues. It's easier to do a shtick involving a tic (think about that Tropic Thunder line "can't go full retard to get the Oscar."). But there's no denying Colin and Geoffrey are awesome.

switters -- if this makes any sense at all -- I found Debussy soothed the soul, and Bach soothed the mind. Emotion or algebra, depends on my needs. (Note this also limited my musical career -- my refusal to work harder on anything I didn't feel like playing). Love Annie Hathaway -- will watch.
WHYY remains an awesome station, though I miss the days they played classical music. Especially St. Paul Sunday morning.

switters said...

dear fairies in my compuTOR (sp?): please don't leave. bright knows all! but, seriously, please don't leave, you dear dear people.

rundeep said...

BTW, don't turn Amish. It means you have to run puppy mills, I think, and turn out reproduction furniture all day. Plus allow your children to run wild for a year or so.

switters said...

rundeep, m'lady, would you believe that i'm approaching (sp?)... happy? i miss that old lady. told tia that. annie hath is a god(dess). but i have a crush on will smith.

the dicks at juilliard (sp?), i know it's old, but they made us play fugues. and sonatas. i miss that old lady.

rundeep said...

Approaching happy is pretty damn good. Sonatas ain't so bad as long as they involve Beethoven.