Monday, May 25, 2009

Burying the lead.

(I actually wrote this on Memorial Day and just sort of left it without hitting "publish post")

Keeping up a blog is sort of like adopting a stray cat, in that you do it with good intentions, but if you fail to provide the cat with food, attention and the occasional pat on the head, it could turn on you, or die, or become so poorly behaved that your friends stop coming over. And at the same time, you want to do everything right because it is better to either have an impressive cat or no cat at all (impressive = the occasional trick/litter-box trained/declawed, at least in the front). A mediocre cat makes you nervous. It stares at you when you watch TV and gives you nothing but guilt and one more hassle do deal with when you want to go out of town.

A friend suggested going the narrative route -- just talking about the day to day. I guess I've been doing that to a certain extent already, but it always feel super self-indulgent to simply talk about the goings on in life like everyone should know and everyone should care.

I've been traveling on the weekends fairly frequently, sometimes to other midwestern cities, but usually to St. Louis. This past/current weekend marked a particularly important occasion for travel, since my youngest brother was graduating from high school. Add to that a friend's wedding and Paul's graduation party, and there was no excuse not to come home. My sister had flown in from Honduras the week before, and Joe was to fly in from Chile on Saturday. I came home Thursday night, Matt flew in from Omaha Friday afternoon. I'm so used to experiencing my family in little bits and pieces now, and the idea of all of us at once in one place for one weekend was daunting, and wonderful and now, for all intents and purposes, it is over. On the last day of a long weekend, everyone just mopes around and does laundry.

Today was especially dismal because it rained. Summer rain in St. Louis makes your backyard feel like a jungle and your lungs feel like ziplock bags. Everyone is physically uncomfortable, so there's no point in saying anything about it. We are all in the same sticky-limbed boat. It was planned from the beginning that we would go to the cemetery today. They just put up my dad's marker, and my mom wanted to show it to us. Due to varied post-cemetery destinations, we left in our own, small procession. The marker is unobtrusive and perfectly fitting:

In the evening of life, we shall we judged in love. - St. John of the Cross

I think this quote may be incorrectly attributed to Madeleine L'Engle a lot of the time, but oh well. Better that than, like, Dr. Seuss or Janice Dickenson.

So the day has continued to be a series of releases and temporary goodbyes. We dropped Matt off at the airport, and when we got home, I picked up where I left off on David Foster Wallace's essay, "Consider the Lobster." Mary Clare and I bought Paul a few books for graduation, which I'm trying to get selfish use out of before I leave.

(I ended this post here, probably to go eat something.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If you have to get through something by chanting, "This is good for me" silently, weakly and with little conviction, it is probably actually bad for you. Exception to this rule: excercise, because it probably really is good for you -- unless you're running through fire or playing snake tennis. Also, taking vitamins and learning a foreign language.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Disjointed thoughts on unrelated topics

bad ideas...
Apparently I can update this blog from my phone now, but it's probably a disaster waiting to happen. If I were to travel down this thorny path, the end result would amount something like, "on bus no i will not give u money. i can CAPITALIZE on my phone? emoticon"

good literature about bad people...
For reasons unknown, I got really into Brett Easton Ellis last year. Selfish, wealthy East- and West-coasters aren't any more fascinating than fabric softener until you add an early 80s backdrop and suddenly the drugs and drinking and occasional instances of death go from tragic to decadent. Anyway, even though the movie's supposed to be kind of crappy, I'd really like to see it. If you'll refer to my last post, this may be a good chance to go it alone.

good wishes to great people...
On a completely unrelated note, congratulations to my youngest brother for deciding on a school. You made the right choice, Paul -- kudos. Also, happy birthday, Matt Kraemer. This is a bit overdue, but I think "better late than never" seems pretty appropriate at this juncture.


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