Sunday, February 27, 2011

those zany oscars show!

i love the movies. though i've not seen any of them, i love them. all of them. the movies! the hosts are 2 of my favorites. i've made no secret of my crush on anne, but i have made a secret of my crush on jim. smooch!

anyways, i love the movies. love them.

(pretty much pulling for firth. would love to look like him at my age.)

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.

Friday, February 18, 2011

letter to my nephew on the day of his wedding

[my sister and brothers decided that when the kids got married we'd give them a dinner table as a gift. i know it doesn't sound like a glamorous gift, but we're not glamorous.]

Well, Noah, you couldn't have been more than 10 or 11, it was around 1992. You and your brother and sisters were staying with grandma and grandpa for an extended period while your mom and dad were out of town. I don't know if it was just for a few days or a week, but it seemed more like a month by the time it was all said and done. Your uncle Al and Lisa and Augie were living there along with me. By the time we got to that last night, you can imagine our patience had been well tested and thoroughly exhausted. We weren't used to having a bunch of toe-headed butterballs staying there for any extended period of time. I'm pretty sure it was august, because there was sweet corn, burgers, and green beans, green onions and tomatoes fresh from the garden.

I think it started with Noel, who at the time was no fan of green beans. She started whining about something or other, Hope was well off in her own world chattering about horses and such, and all poor little Joy wanted was an ear of sweet corn. So while the only other sounds were the rest of us eating, the girls started this fugue of gibberish that rose to a crescendo that was a little dramatic and to this day makes me smile.

"But I don't want green beans! No!"
"Would you please pass the corn... would you please pass the corn... would you please..."
"I think I will take my horse out tonight later."

"No green beans! No!"
"Would you please pass the corn..."
"I love my horse."

"No!"
"... corn..."
"Horsey."

And on and on and on until grandpa couldn't take it anymore. None of us could.

The next evening your mom and dad came over for dinner and to take you guys home. During dinner, Al did a spot on recap of the last night's cacophony, playing all the parts simultaneously. Your mom couldn't breath because she was laughing so hard, as were grandma and granpa, and Lisa, and Levi, and me. And you, laughing only the way a 10 year boy can.

That's the table for me, Noah. Family, conversation, a lot of food, and even more laughter. A paradise. That was my church, my sacred place that I'll never ever forget. Your laughing, Al's carrying on, your grandma and grandpa. The most precious memories anyone could possibly imagine. It's a kind of spiritual currency that both breaks my heart and helps me through the more difficult moments of life, especially these short days of winter.

It's not just a table; it's a holy place that you're always welcome at and which you always seem to come back to, like a religious pilgrimage. People never really leave, as long as you never forget them. Oh sure, they've moved on from life, but they continue to live in the margins of the stories we remember and tell, as long as we keep telling the stories. Now you've got your own stories to make and tell and cherish. Just don't forget the ones you loved long gone. Keep them alive, especially at your table.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

borders books

oh well. i'm going to take jesse's kindle and break it over my knee. not really. crap. al has grandpa's bible, with all the dates of baptism and confirmation of kin long dead.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

lady gaga

ignorant, talentless, dangerous. almost as dangerous as that bieber punk. a poor man's prince. a rich man's elton, who hasn't written a decent song since '74. i'll take the real deal: janelle monae.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

white fang

"does the dog die?" asked noah, the oldest grandkid. couldn't have been older than 6 or 7. mom and i had already watched the movie, but dad hadn't yet seen it. so, while noah kept turning around from his seat on the bean bag to ask his grandpa, "does the dog die?", his grandpa didn't know either, and was just as nervous about white fang dying as his grandson was. finally, after hearing, "does the dog die?" for the 59th time, dad said, "just watch the movie!" in a tone noah wasn't used to, noah, and dad, got quiet.

i've told you guys about my dad. pretty stoic. except when it came to his dogs.

the next morning, noah and mom and i and dad laughed about "does the dog die?" at the dinner table. noah still laughs at that story. he'll be married in a week. he's a captain in the air force. he flies giant planes carrying giant pieces of death machines. he has mixed feelings about what he delivers. he was a good boy; he's a great young man. when his grandma died, the base he was stationed at flew a flag in her honor for a month. a month.

it's a terrible movie. and i love it.

noah, the dog doesn't die. the dog never dies. no one ever dies. as long as you don't forget.