“Even so, there were times I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights.”
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

There was live music at the start.

Today, when I came home from work, instead of doing something useful and trying to make this world a better place I sat down and watched (for no reason) a bunch of old episodes of Shindig! on Youtube.

I’m old enough to actually remember the show, I think. Let’s see… the show aired from September, 1964 to January, 1966 so I was seven, eight and almost nine. I guess that’s old enough to remember, but not enough to understand. I remember Shindig!‘s folk-oriented predecessor Hootenanny too – though barely.

What I really remember, and really didn’t understand, were the Shindig! dancers.

The television is grainy and not very well preserved. But the music! I hate to sound like the old man shouting to get off of his lawn – but that stuff was so much better than what we have to listen to today.

So much better.

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, What I Owned by Michelle Ross

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

The Headlines Screamed, Baithouse Disappears

From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Spreading north

I’m continuously amazed at how the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is vomiting itself northward, spreading across the cotton fields and mesquite scrublands like a virulent plywood fungus.

The houses are enormous, stuck right up next to each other, and virtually identical. Cheap brick veneer, wooden shake shingles, monstrously large bathrooms, two-story entryways, full of odd corners of wasted space.

The streets are full of smells of cut pinewood, wet concrete, and hot asphalt. Even in the winter, the Texas sun beats down unhindered by any trees to bake the brick and kill the fresh-laid sod. You never see any residents out on the streets or sidewalks – I have to imagine there are sometimes children behind the eight foot wooden privacy fences enclosing a tiny polygon of ex-prairie – sometimes I can see a piece of custom-made play equipment sticking up over the fence. The only humans ever visible in the new suburbs are crews of Mexican workers cutting grass or building walls. Sometimes they have leaf blowers – though I have no idea where any leaves would come from.

The eternal question is, of course, who lives in these things. Did a crack dealer and his stripper girlfriend save their money, get married, clean up and move to the suburbs? Did some guy invent the battery-powered inside-the-egg egg-scrambler and spend his millions gleaned from late night television advertisements on that brand spankin’ new house and shiny black SUV?

And now, a piece of flash fiction for today:

What I Owned by Michelle Ross

from Monkeybicycle

Michelle Ross Webpage