A Form Of Preparation

It was important. But it wasn’t as difficult as she thought it would be. Not for me at least. I suppose it may have been harder for her because it was her mortality we were defining.

Last Wednesday my brother, his girlfriend, and I went over to moms for dinner. She fixed red beans and rice, my favorite meal of hers. She always fixes it for my birthday. But tonight we wouldn’t be talking about birth, but death. Mom was putting together her living will, durable power of attorney, and such. She needed to put one of our names down as the executor. Of course, both my brother and me agreed it doesn’t really matter. There is no doubt that if an event should occur, in which a decision about how to deal with any of these issues, the both of us would be involved. The person who would tell the doctor what to do was irrelevant, be it my brother or me. My name got put down not for any other reason than I volunteered.

My Mom is a simple woman. She believes in “right-to-die” or pain control or whatever the current p.c. term for minimizing suffering of both victim and survivor in the case of tragic events and during severe illness or debilitation. I’m confident my brother and me would be able to make a good decision, and more importantly, my mom is too.

It sucks thinking about this kind of stuff sometimes. And it is can actually pretty depressing if you let it be. But it’s also very necessary. And nothing we discussed actually brought me down. It was just a form of preparation – in case of the unavoidable.

Shag

I just got in from a two-hour lunch and nobody even realized I was gone. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not. It’s beautiful outside and was the perfect afternoon to go walk around. I can feel the slightest bit of spring fever starting to settle into my bones. But I won’t be fooled quite yet there is still a few more snow storms left in the year (if were lucky).

The reason I took such a long lunch was to go check out a showing of some of Shag’s (Josh Agle) artwork on display at Th’Ink Tank. There were about 30+ pieces on display. Every one of them sold on opening night. Shag’s work is a cartoonish rendition of the swank 1960’s swinger or mod culture. Themes include tiki heads, shriners, spies, voodoo lounge, devils, and cocktails. A couple of my favorites can be found below. Check out his website for more.
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Last 5

1. What was the last song you heard?
“Spit And Fire” by Rainer Maria.

2. What were the last two movies you saw?
The last two I watched in their entirety were “One Hour Photo” and “Insomnia”.

3. What were the last three things you purchased?
Beer, soft tacos, gasoline.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
Laundry, finish cleaning the bathtub, relax, and have fun.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
Chris (coworker), Paul (coworker), Raylene, Steve (coworker), Louie (coworker).

The Twelve Chief Rules In Love

This list was taken from “The Art of Courtly Love” by Andreas Capellanus, a book that has been recently added to my wishlist.

The Twelve Chief Rules in Love:

1. Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
2. Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
3. Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
4. Thou shalt not chose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
5. Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
6. Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
7. Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of Love.
8. In giving and receiving love’s solaces let modesty be ever-present.
9. Thou shalt speak no evil.
10. Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
11. Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
12. In practising the solaces of love thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.
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Goodbye Otha

This morning I got an email from a music-loving friend of mine that informed me of some sad news. Apparently, legendary bluesman and cane fife player, Otha Turner passed away last Thursday the 27th of March. His death overshadowed by that of a particular children’s television show host. Otha Turner and the Rising Star Drum and Fife Band played a style of “blues” called American drum and fife music. Its influences trace most directly to both the drum corps of the Revolutionary War and traditional African music brought to America by slaves.

I discovered Otha’s music a couple of years ago from some random zine I can no longer remember the name of. What I like most about Otha music, in addition to it’s simple but driving beats and southern man-of-the-earth feel, it was great to party to. In fact Otha threw picnic parties every summer for whomever wanted to attend. Otha and friends would roast goat, drink margaritas, and play music. The summer I first heard Otha I brought his CD to all the parties I went to. My friends with an interest in music (and most of those who didn’t) always got their interest piqued when they heard it. If you haven’t heard Othar Turner yet I recommend you do so. Try downloading (left click) some of his tunes from here, here, or here.
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Reading 5

1. What is your favorite type of literature to read (magazine, newspaper, novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)?
I enjoy fictional novels and short stories the most.

2. What is your favorite novel?
I normally answer this question with “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn but also enjoy Orwell, Bukowski, Atwood, Irving, S. Thompson, and many others.

3. Do you have a favorite poem? (Share it!)
I’m not all that familiar with poetry but I enjoy Bukowski, Silverstein, Pound, and of cousre the beautiful but bitter Parker. Right now my current favorite is a short poem titled “Sanctuary” by Dorothy Parker.

4. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to read, or wish you had more time to read?
The one thing that I have always thought about reading but know I will never get around to is the Holy Bible (King James Version).

5. What are you currently reading?
“Island” by Aldous Huxley

Time For Crock-Pots

On Saturday after having breakfast over at my brothers and taking cat naps all afternoon I went to the 10th annual chili cook-off. Time for crock-pots, beano ©, homebrew, caber-toss and tandem saw competitions, campfires, friends and plenty of partying. The chili cook-off is one of my favorite annual parties. This tradition started with about 20 friends back college and has grown to tremendous proportions since. I have attended nearly all the chili cook-offs since the first annual, missing only maybe two or three.

Like the past 3 years, the monumental event was again held at the Evergreen Cabin. This year there were over 75 attendees and 20 chilies (plus 2 vegetarian entries). Local bluegrass band “Forty Gallon Still” also played making this years chili cook-off one of the best yet. I didn’t meet as many new people this time but got to catch up with quite a few old acquaintances that I haven’t seen since the last chili cook-off. It was a great time. Thanks to BJ for the great hospitality. And oh yeah, happy birthday.
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