Friday, January 13, 2006

Living In a Neighborhood Where Chaos Mucks With My Schedules

Well, I “try”… which means E for Effort.

For Neighborhood of God, I adopted James Lileks' idea of having a schedule of subjects for each day of the week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to transplant his anal retentive tendencies along with this great idea, so I carom off the hours and the days, bruising body parts along my erratic path and dropping the days’ categories all over the place.

Here’s the putative schedule:

    Monday: Etymology. I’d prefer this to be words I come across while reading or in conversation but it doesn’t always work out that way. I suppose if I read William Buckley more often I wouldn’t have a problem.

    Tuesday: Books. It started out as Science because I was reading The Agile Gene at the time, but what I know about science you could put in thimble and have enough room left for Bill Clinton’s integrity.

    So now it’s whatever I’m reading or have read recently. This can run the gamut from fiction to philosophy, depending on my mood. And sometimes on what the Baron brings home from the library or the Boy brings home from college. Sometimes he borrows wonderful things from Wally Ballou, who has contributed greatly to the Boy’s education. Once he was reading a “borry” from WB — either Thurber or Benchley?— and came across a mention of Billy Rose’s trial. The day before I’d been telling the Boy about the fact that my grandfather had been Billy Rose’s attorney. Don’t know if that goes under family (Friday) or books (Tuesday). And then there are family books, including some good ones, even.

    Wednesday: The Garden. Or Matters Rural. This can be anything from Hazel’s wedding —which if I haven’t written about, I will — to the zen of raking, raking, raking to Missouri. Or plant diseases and pests, like the horrid Japanese beetle.

    Thursday: Food, Glorious Food. I’ve been cooking dinner since I was ten. Doing the grocery shopping since I was twelve. There is little about food I don’t know but I won’t burden you with it. Perhaps though, I will tell about the time Mother brought home a string of dead quail and tried to put them in the trash. I rescued them and learned quickly how to clean them, strip the feathers, and singe the remaining pin feathers from the skin. Best fowl I’ve ever had. The story of how Mother came to have a string of dead quail in her possession will have to wait.

    Friday: Family and Friends. This, too, will be a mishmash. Our family agrees we’re pretty much a mishmash. When I married the Baron, Mother commented that it would be good to widen the genetic pool beyond our Celtic walls. No kidding. Maybe I will write about my cousin, Buster, who lost the mayor’s race in Tallahassee by 37 votes. Or maybe Mark Humphrys, a cousin I met because I found my grandmother’s wedding picture on his site. He lives in Dublin and teaches IT. An Irishman who’s a libertarian. A fierce libertarian…are there any other kinds?

    Saturday: Ain’t It Awful. This one is fluid, since I don’t seem to have managed a Saturday post as yet. Usually Saturday is hanging out with the Baron and dribbling the day away. We’re lazy bums except when we’re too busy to be so. Anyway, this category is tentative, as is Wednesday. I think I could quickly run out of things that annoy me, but perhaps not. When Norm Geras interviewed me I sure did rattle them off.

    Sunday: The Latitudes of Gratitude…the antidote to Saturday…As in “there is a wideness in God’s mercy.” Wish I could get the Baron’s boy to learn to play that hymn. Of course I could just buy a CD, but I’d rather hear the music drifting down the stairs when he’s home. Carrot? Stick? Guilt? Hmm…

    Anyway, since Shelagh died, gratitude comes hard. My spirit starts to expand and I find myself wanting to tell her about it and then I remember…she’s not here. A lot of parents tell me that somehow they manage to find a sign from their dead child. Sometimes I think of that…but nothing has appeared so far…though there was a small incident with her granddaughter, Kiki, the other week.

    The people who lived in the house where my daughter died have moved from there because they see her drifting up the stairs as though she’s just come out of the bath, a towel wrapped around her hair. I wish she’d move here.

    Well, there I went from gratitude to grief in two small steps. That seems to keep happening. Perhaps it is a process to be gotten through and eventually one arrives at a more spacious place. Writing poetry helps sometimes. A psychiatrist friend, a writer in NYC, says poems are “pellets of time.” He’s right…they provide enough aesthetic distance to allow me to move on a bit.
Lileks was right. It’s a good idea to have a schedule. Now if I could just get him to help me organize my papers. Wonder if he works by the hour?

It may look as though I wrote this so my reader(s) might know what to expect on any given day. Truth to tell, I wrote it because I keep losing the damn list. Now it exists here in the ether where it can only get lost if the web gremlins or the blogger bugs interfere with my karma.

Fortunately, my webmaster is duly diligent about backing things up.

Tomorrow: the dreadful Judge Cashman. I have things to say about that soft-headed man, but not entirely what you think. It may even be a nuanced characater assault instead of merely a rant.


At 5:43 PM, Blogger Wally Ballou said...

We won't hold you to the schedule


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