Malibu....

... woke up humming this tune and just can't get it out of my head....... my goodness...

.... just look at the way those two look at each other......

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Movies.....

.... off early tomorrow for another visit to the south......... and if you ask me?...... Steve Earle says it all.....

...... but really?...... I am broken........ I am busted....... and my vision has changed...... I am not the person that I was six months ago........

...... I cannot find the beauty in every day like I used to......... I just can't find it........... I see the same things, sure, but they are not as vibrant........ they are not as real...... and, really, I am quite lost........

..... perhaps I should just channel me some Tara...... ala "Gone with the Wind"......

.... then again, perhaps tomorrow isn't just another day.....

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Roadside....

.... you know, I do so love me some poetry...... and I am always just that little bit happy when I stumble across another poet that I'd never heard of before and find myself mystified by their words.......

..... and that very situation played itself out just yesterday lunchtime..... for lo, I discovered the art of Sam Walter Foss....... I mean, just check this out.....

The House by the Side of the Road

THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

... when I first read it, I was in absolute awe......... isn't it just beautiful, no?....... "to live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man"....... how hopeful!...... how optimistic!...... how, how.... how, well, what?.......

...... while I admire his sentiment & the beauty of his intention, I am torn....... and in the end - at least lately - well..... I'm fairly damned sure that I'm glad I live in a sub-division.....

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Re-post.....

.... I spent most of yesterday evening telling and re-telling stories to The Missus about My Old Man..... she'd heard most of them before, but she listened all the same....

.... I left home when I was 17 - and stayed gone - living abroad, serving my country, doing what anyone does - until the day I picked up the telephone to hear that he was ill....

.... two weeks later I had quit my foriegn job and was on an airplane back to Tennessee.... I had just turned 29 years old.....

... I spent the next five months with him nearly night and day until he passed away..... and this year - more than any - I miss him very much....

... happy Father's Day, sir.... you are loved and missed....


Re-posted from 2010
.... I've always thought of my Dad as a quiet, confident, gentle man..... capable of just about any feat, strong, fit, and smiling...... his presence is definitely missed when the family gathers for their annual holidays.... even now - nearly ten years on - the old men of the family still grouse at the lack of freshly brewed coffee at my Mother's house after the meals..... "no coffee?," they grunt, "if Marion were here we'd have fresh COFFEE after dinner!"..... and thus it goes as they sip their sweet tea and fumble with their toothpicks........

.... I think that after he died my Mother stowed away his old coffee maker..... and now her house is as barren of coffee as the Mongolian steppes are of Tennesseans......

.... in any case, over this past Christmas the family gathered at my Mother's house for dinner, and I was given two grainy photographs of my Dad from back in the day......

.... good god, folks..... one of the photos is from just before he left to join the Marine Corps around 1965.... and the other is from theatre near Phu Loc with 1st Shore Party Battalion circa 1966-67......

...... you know, sometimes I think my Father thought he was Elvis....... I mean, just check these out....

dad_elvis_small.jpg

dad_elvis_small1.jpg"

.... give them a click if you wish to have a closer look........

.... my goodness, it seems so strange to think that I am cut from that same bolt flamboyant cloth......

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Raining.....

..... it has been a bachelor day here on The Compound, and the storms rolling through have washed everything clean..... I was smoking outside under the eaves of the house - hiding from the warm rain a few minutes ago - and the smell of wet earth filled the air...... thunder was rolling off in the distance..... and the trees were chattering as the rain patted their leaves....... certainly nice to have a break from the mid-90s that we've been having.....

... anyway, since I am alone tonight - and it is nearly 8pm, I must venture off to scare up some dinner..... and perhaps a gin and tonic.......

.... so, I will leave you with a "rainy day" song that I recalled this evening in between raindrop-dodging Camels...

.... I do hope you enjoy it....

..... I do love me some Nanci from time to time....

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Bananas....

...... warm, breezy day here, and The Missus is busily holding down the hammock in the back yard..... as for me, I'm baking......

... here's the recipe that I threw together off the top of my head.....

SWG's Banana Walnut Bread

2 cups of self-rising flour
1/2 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup of crushed walnuts
2 eggs - severely beaten
1 cup of brown sugar
3 large, mushy over-ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon....

.... I melted the butter and brown sugar in a measuring cup in the microwave to begin with...... I then - in a large bowl - mashed the ever lovin' Hades out of the bananas..... don't be shy if you try this.... trust me, it sometimes feels quite good to mash something easily squashable into a messy pulp....

.... I then beat the eggs and stirred them into the smashed bananas..... added the walnuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar/melted butter...... I stirred this mess and then added in the two cups of self-rising flour......

.... I then poured the whole mixture into a greased baking pan (I used a bit of butter to coat the pan, but you could just as well use some kind of baking spray if you're a wuss.)

.... anyway, it is currently baking away at 350 degrees in the oven..... and I plan on baking it for about an hour....

.... not sure if it will actually be edible - since this is a recipe that I just winged - but it certainly is making the kitchen smell pretty damned amazing......

UPDATE:

.... well, here it is, rubberneckers...... and I ended up only needing to bake it for 50 minutes......

bread_small.jpg

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Italian......

....... it was a beautiful day here today, although very warm, and the occasion transpired where I found myself sitting outside on my front stoop enjoying a cigarette.........

.... the Sun was absolutely belting it down, and I halfway wondered if I should make my way towards some sort of shade while the nicotine worked its magic.........

.... and just as the first bead of sweat rolled down my balding forehead, I remembered that line from the Wizard of Oz...... remarkably, "you clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!"......

.... hard words from The Wizard to the Tin Man, fo sho..... but, True Words, nonetheless.........

...... it was odd how it struck me, actually - that line....... I suddenly pressed out my cigarette against the stone paving, gazed down at my bare, red arms..... admired the freckles and inch-long hair that adorn them....... and mouthed the words to myself..... "you, sir, are the Tin Man....... apart from the English, Scots, Irish, Creek, French, German, Cherokee, and Catawba that all lent their genes to you?...... you are still sitting here - in Tennessee - with 95 degree weather, fair skin, red hair, and freckles that'd confuse a master puzzlesmith....... you, sir, are a clinking, clanking, clattering collection of Recessive Genes......."....

.... how else could someone who has had ancestors in the United States since 1750 be so damned unsuited for the clime in which he was born?.........

.... I am sure that my ancestors were much, much hardier than I........ hell, the fact that I am here at all begs the question of "how the hell did they survive this heat, topography, and humidity?".......

.... and yet, here I sit.......

..... and I still don't understand it........

... if I had my way, I would be swarthy-skinned, muscular, and immune to humidity........ Italian, perhaps...... but then, that wouldn't be me........

...... a bullshit post, yes..... but, in truth?...... I just like typing "clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk."......

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Time.....

..... I received a beautiful phone call from a great Scottish friend of mine tonight........ and I caught three lightning bugs with my bare hands and presented them to Fiona after the rainstorm lifted after dinner........ and both things were brilliant......

... how many folks have ran out and caught lightning bugs with their bare hands - unharmed - once they were past fifteen years of age?.......

.... too few, if you ask me........ we're all too damned old...... old beyond our years - and way, way too early........ but it isn't a date........ it is a mindset......

... live a little, folks...... paint, write, read, faint (if the occasion is right.)..... catch, feel, speak, talk, listen.........bite, stroke, slide, and taste....... it is all part of the same animal........ and Life is that animal..........

.... we all need to enact more poetry, if you ask me......... read it?.... sure...... understand it?...... yeah.......but LIVE it?........ we should all be so fucking lucky.......

...... breathing every day is poetry, if you look at it the right way..........

..... sadly though, it has taken me years and years to fully realize that......

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