“Instead of the macho, trigger-happy man our culture has perversely wanted him to be, the cowboy is more apt to be convivial, quirky, and softhearted. To be “tough” on a ranch has nothing to do with conquests and displays of power. More often than not, circumstances – like the colt he’s riding or an unexpected blizzard – are overpowering him. It’s not toughness but “toughing it out” that counts. In other words, this macho, cultural artifact the cowboy has become is simply a man who possesses resilience, patience, and an instinct for survival. “Cowboys are just like a pile of rocks – everything happens to them. They get climbed on, kicked, rained and snowed on, scuffed up by wind. Their job is ‘just to take it,’ ” one old-timer told me.”
― Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces
“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”
― Ron White
Next to the smelly dumpster behind the coffee shop in the apartment complex I saw a sad bunch of colorful Mylar balloons left over from a birthday party. I had ridden my bicycle down for a cold brew and a place to hang out and write.
The balloons bothered me. So vivid and kaleidoscopic – and yet starting to droop and lose their helium. They are a symbol of good times, happy times, friends gathered together. But the party is over, and all that is left is a sad fading echo out by the disgusting rotting trash, its noble gas leaking away, its lift failing – starting to settle down towards the ground. The people from the party never appreciated how good is was while it lasted and now its gone.
I feel like that all the time.
“A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard.
And the candle by which she had read the book that was filled with fears, with deceptions, with anguish, and with evil, flared up with greater brightness than she had ever known, revealing to her all that before was in darkness, then flickered, grew faint, and went out forever.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
the wind bottle
The candle wax drips down
the wine bottle
wine and spaghetti
smoke on the tabletop
Grandma and her doilies
light and fire
“Watch the kid burn himself“
and watch the smoke
the darkness stringing streaming out
“This is the list you carry in your pocket, of the things you plan to say to Kay, when you find him, if you find him:
- I’m sorry that I forgot to water your ferns while you were away that time.
- When you said that I reminded you of your mother, was that a good thing?
- I never really liked your friends all that much.
- None of my friends ever really liked you.
- Do you remember when the cat ran away, and I cried and cried and made you put up posters, and she never came back? I wasn’t crying because she didn’t come back. I was crying because I’d taken her to the woods, and I was scared she’d come back and tell you what I’d done, but I guess a wolf got her, or something. She never liked me anyway.
- I never liked your mother.
- After you left, I didn’t water your plants on purpose. They’re all dead.
- Were you ever really in love with me?
- Was I good in bed, or just average?
- What exactly did you mean, when you said that it was fine that I had put on a little weight, that you thought I was even more beautiful, that I should go ahead and eat as much as I wanted, but when I weighed myself on the bathroom scale, I was exactly the same weight as before, I hadn’t gained a single pound?
- So all those times, I’m being honest here, every single time, and anyway I don’t care if you don’t believe me, I faked every orgasm you ever thought I had. Women can do that, you know. You never made me come, not even once.
- So maybe I’m an idiot, but I used to be in love with you.
- I slept with some guy, I didn’t mean to, it just kind of happened. Is that how it was with you? Not that I’m making any apologies, or that I’d accept yours, I just want to know.
- My feet hurt, and it’s all your fault.
- I mean it this time, goodbye.”
― Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen
From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Friday, October 09, 1998
The best food ends in “O”
At lunch today I was off to buy groceries at the Hyperbolic Market (Shopping From Hell!!) before it became overcrowded. As I pulled out of the parking lot my pager went off, belt bee notifying me of incoming voicemail. I was pretty sure it was not business and considered going back to get the call, but I decided that I’d better get my errand run, I’d call back a little later.
We’re having guests this weekend. I bought tomatillos, cilantro, jalepenos (the recipe calls for habaneros, but they were three dollars for a few orange lumps in a little plastic tray and covered with red warning labels saying stuff like “Danger, these are the hottest things in the universe, do NOT EAT, wear thick rubber gloves when handling, wash hands thoroughly before taking a leak, For God’s Sake!”, so I chickened out and bought jalepenos instead) and mangos.
Fresh food, tropical food, food ending in “O.”
I’ve been trying to spend some time in the middle of the day, every work day, with my office door closed. I’ll sit there and daydream, listen to a little Mozart, maybe talk on the phone, anything to take my mind away for awhile.
The Others are starting to put this down. One guy knocked, asking me paperwork questions when I opened my door. Immediately others lined up behind him, needing favors or answers or only to unload. It was actually kind of funny, my thoughts were elsewhere and I was no good at all to anybody.
And now, a piece of flash fiction for today:
I have been a fan of Kelly Link for years – ever since her amazing and very odd book of stories – modern day adult fairy tales – Stranger Things Happen was listed as a Times magazine best book of the year. I was happy to find this story from her follow-up collection Magic for Beginners.
from Electric Lit
Sometimes we all fall into doom.
Xi Jinping moves to silence Covid Zero critics in sign of brewing tumult – Times of India (indiatimes.com)
You remember 5G, right? It’s the thing on your phone you hardly notice, except when it’s draining your battery for no good reason.
Let’s not forget, too, that high gas prices are a feature for Biden in the long run. Progressives want gas prices to remain high so as to discourage the use of fossil fuels. They believe that imposing such pain on consumers will convince them to press for a conversion to renewable energy sources.
There is no doubt that the country faces severe challenges, many the result of shortsightedness and wishful thinking, but we still have an enormous capacity for renewal. It is because our ancestor patriots rejected despair and kept faith with America that we are here to fight another day.
But Pelosi doesn’t hesitate to invoke her religion when it seems useful to her to do so, that is, when she thinks it can help her advance her far-Left agenda. On Tuesday, she pulled out the Gospel of Matthew to justify sending $40 billion to Ukraine during a time of steeply rising inflation, astronomical gas prices, and a baby-formula shortage.
From Sunday evening to early Monday, our pearly satellite will lapse into a total lunar eclipse, as well as its “super flower blood moon” phase. The first hints of darkness will appear on its surface around 10 p.m. Eastern on May 15. The totality part, when the moon is completely overshadowed, will last from about 11:30 p.m. Eastern on May 15 to 1 a.m. Eastern on May 16.
“In those days I learned that nothing is more frightening than a hero who lives to tell his story, to tell what all those who fell at his side will never be able to tell.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
I’d rather get a hot dog or a doughnut than write a song.
The other day I wrote about having to drive between two donut stores on the way to work every day. Due to medical conditions I can’t eat donuts… not even one. I’m used to that, but still I can dream. I am especially interested in the one on the south – a new Japanese fusion donut shop called Mochinut. The donuts look like a circular string of donut holes and are made with rice flour. Best of all, they come in tantalizingly oddly different flavors.
We were coming back from Mother’s day festivities in Downtown Dallas and my son expressed an interest in something sweet to eat. I suggested a quick stop at Mochinut – we would be passing by soon.
Even if I can’t eat it, I can see… and dream.
They were very good (I’m told) the shop is bright and simple – the flavors varied. Here is what they offered:
The place had a nice attention to detail. For example, on the dark chocolate Mochinut – there was a little chocolate bear sleeping on a marshmallow pillow. Cool.
“If I had my way we’d sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes.”
― William S. Burroughs
“You love me. You ignore me. You save my life, then you cook my mother into soap.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
change the surface tension
make the water smoother
One end loves water
the other oil
The molecules line up, sticking one end in
the other out.
billions and billions in line
to make one tiny
I know too much
that there isn’t much difference
a chain here
a conjugated double bond
a COOH group there
and the stench of death
maybe that’s the point