Friday, April 13, 2012


Woke up with "At Last I Am Free" by Chic running through my head. Gorgeous song. Bet you don't know it!

Also was remembering something I learned from being a baseball fan, or at least I think that's where I grasped this concept first: most successful managers weren't Hall of Fame caliber players themselves. Far from it, usually. The example I heard growing up was Ted Williams, who managed the Senators/Rangers for a few years (the team moved during his tenure). One of the best hitters ever, but people said that he couldn't teach the craft well because he was so good at it that he couldn't relate to the struggles of ordinary hitters. True in music, too: virtuosos often don't make good teachers. You've probably heard all this before. I think it does point to the broader observation that we can't know how difficult a particular challenge is for someone else. We think we know - however hard it was for us, that's how hard the thing is. People who do X more naturally than we do are gifted or lucky, while people who do X less naturally than we do are dumb or lazy. This conveniently excuses us from the burden of being patient with them: the high performers don't need our compassion or assistance, and the low performers don't deserve it. Human nature is amazing, huh?

This isn't saying that because something is difficult, you're excused from having to wrestle with it. For example, let's say it's harder for you to keep your weight down than it is for most people, and you're a hundred pounds or more too heavy now. Your choice is still the same - lose the weight or face the consequences of not losing it. Your way up will be rocky and steep, and enabling you isn't going to help. But a thin person sure as hell does not derive from this a right to look down on you, because we all have things that don't come easy for us. Or if we don't, we're not challenging ourselves enough.

Well, it was on my mind this morning. Not sure why.


I'd pick the Stanley Cup playoffs, but I haven't followed the NHL closely enough in recent years for the picks to be much more than guesses.


Update on an old subject: When I said I'd quit drinking, I did so - for about two months. So that was pretty good. It's crept back in again. Don't know how I feel about it. To the extent drinking is ever an issue - I suppose this is true for most people - it's a symptom of other things. Things I'm not going to tell you about today, as blah blah who cares. Maybe I'll drink tonight, and maybe I won't, and maybe the sunset will be pinkish and maybe it will be grayish, and tomorrow three outs will still constitute an inning.


Dawns on me that I've lived alone for the past five years. Hmm, let's see...I lived at home until I was 21. In the 21 years since then, I've lived alone for 15 of them...oh, cool, the Who's "Armenia City In The Sky" just came on, haven't heard that in a while...followed by the Utopia rarity "Monument". You know what's hard to do? Walk around for 15 or 20 minutes outside somewhere and do nothing but observe the trees and shrubs and plant life. Don't classify, describe, memorize, evaluate or judge, there will not be a quiz later, just keep your mind doing nothing but observing the green things. Every time your mind wanders, lead it gently back to the task at hand. If you've a noisy mind, as I chronically do, this will be a rewarding and peaceful but VERY difficult up: Level 42's "Love Games"...I have a friend who thought (thinks? haven't hung out with him in a while) that all blogs and similar expressive avenues are self-important narcissistic endeavors, why do people think their every thought and utterance is super-important, yadda yadda. He has Asperger's, though that's neither here nor there I guess. I dunno, how about "because I like to write", that seems like enough reason to me. Yes, I know the old saw about removing all doubt, and I know I should be stoic and windweathered and drive a pickup truck with a medium-large dog in the back with big yearning eyes and know how to field-dress a buffalo and order French suits and jog five miles uphill at 5 am every day and have a spotless bathroom and be up on the latest TV shows and be seen petting a ferret to sleep in the study and whatnot. I'm 42, dammit, I don't have time to worry anymore, I just do whatever. Glad you're reading.

Foreigner, "At War with the World" now. Bill Bruford with "Fainting In Coils" after that. Then Chris Squire's "Lucky Seven".


Yes, raising children is real work, I trust we all agree. But let's see, attractive white woman marries rich white man and has some kids, money is no object, chauffeurs, maids, nannies, elite private schools, luxurious family vacations to rejuvenate, superduper medical care, elite teams of ninja psychotherapists flown in straight from Vienna if needed - lots of mother's little helpers to call on, to say the least. But if you said her parenting itself is still honest work worthy of respect, I would wholly agree with you. And Ann Romney's unusually good fortune is not something she needs to apologize for. I trust, then, we can also say that the poor inner-city black woman struggling to raise five kids and scraping by with the help of some piddly sum from the government, which isn't half of 1% of the help Ann Romney receives for doing the same thing under much easier circumstances, is equally engaged in honest work and is entitled to the same respect. Right? Yes, that means not calling her a welfare queen or yelling at her to get a "real" job.


How about...some Deep Purple...okay, Stormbringer, that'll work. I like old music, deal. Not because I think it's somehow objectively "better" music, though. I just respond to those sounds and styles more for whatever clutch of reasons. There's plenty of excellent music being made now, and there was plenty of crap being made back then. I've probably said that here before.


Write anything:

Rock'n'roll through the lens
This is no time to try
This is no time to die

White winter burn sun on sand
Down the peak one painted head
The song is over but the peaks remain
Stripped and wasted, underbelly dusted

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