10 July 2017

The Blogger Finally Blogs Again Mentions A Coming Trip, Al Franken, Two New Films and Names his Favorite Planet

Al Franken

I am not deceased, nor have I died, passed away, been lost nor have I met my maker nor a baker or candlestick maker. It is, however, quite true that I haven’t written in ages (see Bronze, Iron, Middle) so one may have begun to wonder whatever became of me. I say “one may have wondered” because that is approximately the size of my readership. Give or take one or two. ( I have, at times, speculated that my total number of readers is less than zero. I’m not sure how it can be a negative number but I’m equally sure that it is possible.)

So what have I been up to recently? Funny you should ask…

I am still gainfully employed and still must commute to and from said employment. The total number of hours I spend in these worthy pursuits occupies a large portion of most weekdays (excepting those that I do not go to work such as when I have a medical appointment, today for example).

Working and commuting continue although both will soon be blissfully interrupted when the missus and I go to Europe via New York. Stops will include Amsterdam, Berlin, Finland and the UK. Departure is set for 11 days hence. Planning the trip has also occupied a lot of my time and it has been time well spent and enjoyed. Half the fun is getting there.

Too much of my time has been sitting and staring at a spot on the floor while in the throes of depression. This is time wasted and it is time spent being sad which makes it doubly useless. Through therapy I am doing my best to limit this time with slow but steady success. The depression has been compounded by the deaths of two of my best friends in the first six months of this year. I miss them greatly. My life was richer for their presence so their premature departures leave a void that memories can only partially fill.

I have continued to watch movies religiously. I’ve seen two in theaters these past two Saturdays and enjoyed both. They couldn’t be more different. The first was Baby Driver. I do not like this kind of film but I loved this film. It had an energy and intelligence and a  brilliantly melding of music and action. The second was the Ornithologist, a Portugese film in which an ornithologist looks at birds, gets tied up by Chinese female hikers, has gay beach sex with a deaf goat herder, is shot by three topless women on horseback, is visited by a dove in his zipped up tent, turns into someone else, views bizarre pagan rituals and loses and find things hither and yon. Typical stuff.

The wife and I saw Senator Al Franken speak here in Berkeley and it was 90 minutes well spent with a great deal of laughter some of which of the uproarious variety and a lot of insight into Franken’s life and into the US Senate (spoiler alert: everyone hates Ted Cruz). I am a long time admirer of Mr. Franken’s, from his time at SNL, through his comedic/political books, through his time on the Senate.

I’ve also spent a lot of time not writing and more specifically, wondering why I’m not writing. It is a mystery why the spigot goes off completely at times and cannot be turned on. Sometimes I would sit down to write and manage a sentence or two and other times I would just stare at a blank screen. More often I couldn’t even get that far. The idea of writing something was akin to the idea of inventing a time machine, I had no idea how to even start. “The feeling” came back today and so far I’ve managed over 600 words with no trouble at all. Am I back or is this a fluke? Hopefully the “block” was the fluke. I certainly intend to chronicle my travels and those brave souls who venture to this blog will see a steady diet of posts from Europe.

Meanwhile the news continues to be dominated by that blowhard in the White House who is making the US look like a badly told joke. He is also threatening to ravish the economy, the environment, health care and the country’s status as a champion of liberty, compassion and equal rights (at least a supposed champion of those, if not always one in actuality).  Moreover he is disgraced the office of presidency and set the bar so low for his successors that they’ll be able to step over it.

I can recall the assassination of a president, the Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Clinton impeachment, the invasion of Iraq and yet this is the lowest point the country’s seen in my lifetime.

Hey, it can only get better.

Right?

I’ve also enjoyed visits from grandnephews and a grand niece with another scheduled for today. I am a huge fan of messing about with the three to seven year old crowd. They seem to like me a lot and its no wonder when I turn like them so much. I guess the word love could have been substituted for like. Prior to that youngest daughter was in town for a few days and we’ll see her again when we stop in New York on our way to the old country. Given her and oldest daughter’s successes in life and the fact that my marriage just reached the 30 year mark, I think it safe to say I haven’t made a total shambles of my time on Earth.

Earth, by the way is my favorite planet. It has an overwhelming advantage over other planets in that I’ve never visited them. Maybe I’d prefer Neptune or Saturn but who’s to know absent a visit? Come to think of it Earth is also my least favorite for the very same reason. My favorite star is the sun. It provides us with solar heating. Can’t beat that. I like our moon although as I’ve said before it needs a name. Moon is what it is. We don’t call where we live “planet” so why do we call our one and only moon, “moon.”? Moons of other planets have names so why not ours? I will now step down from my soap box.

Hey look! I finally wrote a blog post again! (I think this was an instance in which exclamation points were called for. Don’t you?)

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