Thursday, November 1, 2007

the bacon of eternity

If I were feeling fanciful, I would say Sting’s This Cowboy Song is the song most descriptive of my life.

“I've been the lowest of the low on the planet
I've been a sinner all my days
When I was living with my hand on the trigger
I had no sense to change my ways
The preacher asked if I'd embrace the resurrection
To suck the poison from my life
Just like an existential cowboy villain
His words were balanced on my knife”

I read somewhere recently that Sting was voted the worst lyricist ever by some Rock magazine. I don’t understand this world.

Anyway, This Cowboy Song probably isn‘t my song in reality. My song is probably something less romantically cavalier. Probably something without words. Like the theme from Looney Tunes.

My grandfather owns the quote of the day. He was telling me that I should take the kids down to see the creation museum in Kentucky. He said it had some cool Animatronic dinosaurs, and a nice planetarium. This recommendation led to a discussion of the controversy surrounding the museum, and how everyone wants to put numbers on things. He said ‘The Earth can’t be hundreds of millions of years old. I actually wish he had taken that much time. I mean, look at it. This is a six day job.’

Nicely done.

Just started reading Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man in my down time. Very funny. Death is one of his best characters. Here’s some good writing from early on in the book (page 14 in the mass market):

“In the hall of the house of death is a clock with a pendulum like a blade but with no hands, because in the house of Death there is no time but the present…it swings with a faint whum-whum noise, gently slicing thin rashers of interval from the bacon of eternity.”

I took some funny stuff out of the middle (indicated by the …), but that’s the main part I liked. I also recommend the part about the mayflies.

My father and I play a macabre game with each other where we try to be the first to tell the other when famous people die. I’m not sure how it got started, and it’s disturbing at times, but it’s something we do. I rarely win. I beat him to Wilson Pickett, and Anna Nicole Smith, but he gets pretty much everyone else. He called me today to let me know that I completely missed the deaths of Robert Goulet and the guy who flew the Enola Gay. I conceded, and admitted that I didn’t know the guy who flew the Enola Gay. I mean, I knew someone flew the Enola Gay, I just didn’t know he was still alive, or that he had a name. I knew Billy Crystal played him in the movie. Maybe that says something about our culture that I knew Goulet but not the guy who dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan. Maybe it just says something about me.

My wife and I hijacked an idea from the movie The Story of Us for family dinners. It’s the High-Low report. Every night that we have dinner together (which is most nights) we report what our high point and low point for the day was. We didn’t eat together tonight because my wife had a class, so I’ll tell you my high. I reached back to hold one of my son’s hands as we were driving back from my grandfather’s house, and the other one put his hand in my hand too. My oldest son is six, and my youngest is two. Both of their hands fit comfortably in my palm. We drove home like this, and I thought, ‘How long will I be able to do this?’

My low is that we ran out of creamer for the coffee.

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