Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. If you weren’t unimaginably wealthy, I would pay you to just go away.
Today I was to take my stepmom to the Y. So I called to set up a time and I got a busy signal. I wait a bit and there is still a busy signal. An hour of this, maybe longer, transpires. Uh–oh. .
It could be no big deal. Then again. The lady is 92, lives alone, except for the cat. Better check. I go over. She answers the door. I am relieved. I don’t do 911 well.
“Your line has been busy.”
“There is a phone off the hook.”
“I have four extensions.”
We find the offending phone, put it back on its cradle. The phone rings now.
As dealing with elderly parent issues go, this is nothing. That moment of panic when the possibility of the inevitable happening now is hard to shake off as it flashes across the brain. The thought of losing a dear one is so unnerving, so scary.
I’m grateful for every day I have with this beautiful lady.
I get up at night for many reasons, a full bladder, upset stomach, too hot in the bedroom, to name a few. Then there is the sheer boredom that is trying to sleep.
So I head to the bathroom, urinate, go downstairs for a glass of seltzer to settle my stomach. I read a bit of a butch lesbian pornographic/erotic love story that is completely engaging, look at some Tumblrs that I follow and discover a new one about French photographer Robert Doisneau. Suddenly I remember my promise to get my conventional 35mm SLR Pentax K1000 up and running again.
I remember a time 35 years ago when I first got it. I discovered the magic of 32 ASA black and white film. I started photographing old derelict buildings on two lane country roads in Lunenburg County, Virginia, tobacco curing sheds, abandoned barns, stores long gone bust, What happened to those pictures? There was the property settlement of that particular divorce. Did I get them out of the house? If so, where are they here? I fancied myself a photographer, dreaming of being one, embarrassed that my pictures were perhaps too imitative of the photographers I admired, Weston, to name one.
Time to get back to dreaming with my hands. A Baptist preacher once told me “Prayers work when they have feet.” He was a pretty smart guy.
Love and Sex
Power and Sex
Power and Love
I’ve been thinking about these too much maybe. We live in a world where boundaries collapse like houses of cards.
I’m sitting here listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing Rodgers and Hart ballads. Last night I binge-listened to interpretations of Noël Coward’s If Love Were All. Various artists from Rufus Wainwright to Barbara Cook have taken their turn at this hauntingly beautiful song. My favorite version? Judy Garland.
It used to be that for an American male to have a fondness for the American popular song would raise doubts about that man’s sexual orientation. Nowadays, who listens to Rodgers and Hart, Noël Coward (OK he’s English), Cole Porter? If you know who Billy Strayhorn was you’re an oddity. If you know that he was gay, you’re doubly peculiar.
The stereotype of so-called gay tastes goes beyond music, to interior design, architecture, cooking, fashion. My friend John A is writing a book about Fred Astaire’s early years in Manhattan. He’s writing a book about a male dancer. John is heterosexual, but then so was Astaire.
I’m going out on a limb and suggest that gays are today as devoid of good taste as the average het guy. If gay males stereotypically follow fashion trends and GQ Magazine is any sort of reflection of gay tastes, they have no taste as of 2017. GQ. has really crappy-looking clothes displayed in bad editorial photography. No great significance to this shift is implied nor should any be inferred. It’s really about the general decline of good taste in this country.
There is just so much good stuff that is largely ignored. It’s the secular version of the trend toward bad liturgical music in current Episcopal/Anglican and Roman Catholic Worship. Sadly we now settle for, if not aspire to the banal, not the exceptional or the sublime.
How did we get here? Can we go back?
That is today’s tune. I am at an ebb. Given that alcohol and drugs are a suicide run for me and sexual infidelity is not my style either, my two principal diversions are exercise and eating. Add the beginnings of a cold to the mix. So exercise is a complete turn-off. That leaves eating. Or maybe, I will blog.
Yeah, I’ll blog. And drink coffee. The coffee tastes good. The chair is comfy. I will go back to Rainer Werner Fassbender’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, starring some great German actors, like Günter Lamprecht, Hannah Schygulla, Gottfried John, and Barbara Sukowa. This was a miniseries on German Television (Deutsche Fernsehen. sounds classier, doesn’t it?) but it was released in theatres in the USA. Fassbinder was a bad boy’s bad boy, i.e. a homosexual drug addict and rather indiscrete about his proclivities. He never got much of a following beyond the art house crowd, here in the America of Ronald Reagan and the 1980’s.
The story follows the life of a petty thief, Franz Bieberkopf (Lamprecht), who served time for the murder of his lover. It begins with his release from prison for this crime. There isn’t a lot of moralizing but there is some fantastic cinematic storytelling.
I have to bear in mind that stories are meant to be experienced in the mind in some fashion. I need not have written a thesis on Fassbinder in order to enjoy this. And I don’t need to mythologize about his angst as a gay artist either. He wanted me to enjoy this story, I’ll betcha.
So I will blog and watch. And not obsess too much about food. Maybe I will do some ironing and shoe shining, and sublimate my service bottom energy into something productive.
It is the middle of the night. Back pain has me awake. There will be no trains to watch till after 5:30 AM. The Silver Meteor , #98, Miami to New York ,is running late. Then again, it usually runs late, from a little to a lot. Amtrak tries. They really do.
But for now, as I take a break from reading Behrouz Gets Lucky by Avery Cassell, I decide a selfie is in order. I turn the camera around, so I don’t take a mirror image. I doctor the picture a bit. I look at myself and say, “What the Hell, I’m 66.”
Behrouz Gets Lucky is an entertaining read, about two masculine presenting lesbians who fall in love with each other. Doggone it I love Love. I don’t care much for TV love shows. I’m partial to Fred and Ginger kind of love stories. Substitute Rita Hayworth or Judy Garland for Ginger. Then again, if dancing is not your thing, Bogart and Bacall are perfect.
“You know how to whistle,don‘t you Steve? You put your lips together and blow.”
MrsCorC? has a hair appointment in the morning. I will go swimming while she gets clipped. Maybe. I may just sleep.
I made bread in the bread machine motivated by nothing more than laziness and reluctance to shell out $3 or more for a loaf of marginal stuff. Much as I like the convenience of the bread machine, it’s time to knead my own dough with my own hands. Maybe make my own scones or beignets. The catch is to bake for somebody else, like my AA buddies. Why the Hell not? Perhaps it will assist in managing my hours a little better.
So where is this picture, you ask?
Here. That vein on the left side (right side?) looks kind of imposing there.
I have a love/hate relation with Christmas. Painful memories. Fond memories. I remember my father had to leave one year the day after Christmas to do a year-end audit in Birmingham, Alabama. I just wanted him to stay, probably not as much as he wanted to stay. Nowhere nearly as much as he did. Christmases with my children. And thanks to divorce, Christmas without them.
And then there is the Holy Mass for the Solemnity of the Incarnation. I have been to Midnight Masses, and Christmas Day Masses. The serenity I associate with the Mass is profound. The silences between the chanted portions of the Masses are equally as moving as the chants. And the Gloria is exquisite. If one is lucky enough to be at a Mass where The Credo is chanted (the Missa Angeles especially), it is especially moving. He became Man and dwelt among us. The Incarnation will always be a Mystery. There are things we will never figure out. Mysteries.
Other music is also singularly special. Händel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Brittain’s Ceremony of Carols. Then there is the exquisite Marian Anthem, for the season, Alma Redemptoris Mater, the simple tone Gregorian Chant.
Most importantly Christmas is the orange in the toe of my hand-knitted Christmas stocking. Because St Nicholas remembers that for the longest time, an orange, a simple orange, for Heaven’s sake, was something special.
Love/Hate. Loss of family, Presence of Our Lord, the perfunctory acts of charity, birds taking Mylar “icicles” building their nests.
It’s a jumble. A delicious jumble.