and peaces -
Another funeral has come and gone, bringing with it the reminders of old family habits and limits. It's my good fortune to be blessed with a keen memory as well as a generous sense of forgiveness which is, to me, the ability to give up all hope for a better past. So, whatever difficulties I've had with the nature of my family can be calmed by reminding myself that I'm old enough to pick my fights and young enough to enjoy the bittersweet fruits of disengagement. I see in my family the spoils of assimilation into the American Middle Class. We, myself included, have joined the champions of isolation and are earnest in our efforts to "get it right," whatever that means. We have moved from the peso standard to the dollar standard, and are behind the movement to mint a new American coin, eschewing the ephemeral "In God We Trust" for a more effective "I've Got Mine" on the obverse with "Do You Own Thing" on the reverse.
I dunno, maybe it's just the Jamba Juice talking, but sometimes I'd like to take my family back a hundred years, declare myself Omnipotent Patriarch, and start over. There's not a logic problem in that, is there?
I have the same longing for my family that everyone has for their family, the wish that in the past they could've been better people and the hope that someday soon some sort of cosmic lightning will come down and hit them in their heads and get their minds right.
So I'll just wait here on my tiny throne, cradle my orb and scepter, and watch the skies.
Being a role model is so hard.
There are signs, however, that I am getting through to my daughter. She came into my office the other day and proudly displayed her first journal entry:
I can't wait for her to master streaming video.
I was also a role model, apparently, on the night of November 7th, when we were all glued to the tube to see who'd win the presidency. Passions ran high here, and our desire to see Bush get squished like a bug was contagious enough to make Amy run into her room to make a sign which she brought out and held over her head as we all screamed at our television:
Note the lettering, all lower case, clearly signaling her inherent sense of egalitarianism.
Tonight we're getting out her red crayons to draw little horns on Florida's Secretary of State.
Speaking of fishy, the last couple of early Saturday mornings have been spent at the fisherman's market at the Ventura harbor. It's a great way to spend the morning and, after strolling along the docks, we've been bitten by the rent-a-boat bug. Viv wants to do those little square paddleboat dealies, but I've got more of a kayak thing in mind. We can't all fit into a kayak though, and Amy isn't very proficient with oars, so chances are I may soon be seen cruising like a big sissyboy in a bright pink paddleboat. While wearing a big orange life vest. I'm all about color when I'm on the water.
And speaking of being on the water, we'll have none of that around here until next summer because yesterday I took down the pool, leaving me with a 20'x22' empty space inside a picket fence with which I can do absolutely anything my wife wishes.
And speaking of my wife, she has been asked to join a local singing group, an ensemble of five or six voices like those you see at community events or at the mall during the holidays. They do jazz standards mostly. As a result of her new endeavor, we are now the proud owners of a karaoke machine, a device which holds the promise of more private rehearsal time for Viv right here in the comfort of her own home.
For a few days, I resisted the temptation that such a machine presents. But technology has a powerful draw, and, you know, sometimes I'm here all by myself. And it's cold outside, so all the windows are closed. And as luck would have it, Sinatra happens to sing in my key. So, after some purely scientific experimentation, I'm just the eensiest bit hoarse. In addition, I will tell you that it is not easy to master the skill of swinging a microphone around and around by its cord and catching it on the downbeat. This could take weeks.
And, I just have to say, reverb is a beautiful beautiful thing.
"Strangers In The Night -- Frank Sinatra -- STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
"There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist."
- Mark Twain