Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Old school

I don't have a single contemporary hot wireless device and somehow I am happy.

Some folks just don't get that. How could I possibly be happy and not be hip at the same time?

Well, let's see what I don't have and then we'll look at what I do. I don't have a smart phone. What I have is a fairly dumb phone with a battery that is failing. It takes photos, sends texts, probably has other functions but I never use them. I don't  have a personal computer of any kind although I do wish and dream about Apple products and hope to someday graduate to a really nice desktop model. I currently do not do much in the way of social media but know all about Twittering, Face Booking and the like. I don't download books or transfer stuff to a devices so I can listen to them every where I go. I don't do digital movies, which, for me, is a travesty anyway.

I don't have a lot of things that seemingly make life worth living, least ways by contemporary standards. But the funny thing is that I really think all those devices and the lifestyles and conveniences attached to them are really great and I am happy for those that have them, use them and make their lives more fulfilling because of them. That is, until someone's cell phone goes off at a concert. Or a tablet lights up in the middle of a movie. Or when someone comes up to the desk and talks and talks and talks to someone other than me on the phone all the while expecting me to serve them as if I am Redbox kiosk.

I think that someday I will move on past this old school way of thinking and get some of those new cool toys but then again, perhaps not, well, least ways, not right away.  I still like to spin my music on a turntable, watch my tunes unspool on my reel to reel. I still thrill to iron oxide tape and buy cassettes and VHS tapes whenever I see a title I don't own on disk. I still cook from scratch and avoid most convenience foods like the plague. I love to line dry sheets, I love to take public transit whenever I can. I still think reading a newspaper in it's paper and ink format to be one of the best reading experiences going. I love to get someplace slow, like on a train or on a bike or on foot. I love to explore someones mind with real letters, share thoughts over the phone or talk face to face. Emails are dandy but there is nothing quite the thrill of opening up a letter from someone you cherish.

I think that certain things, things not necessarily hip, are vital and real. I think of the things my grandmother taught me, manners and courtesies, "yes sir" and "yes ma'am", things that sometimes irk people because they worry that the things you say a reflection of their age and not one of respect. I think of tolerance, of discipline, etiquette, knowing that eating properly at a table, opening doors, of offering someone your seat, those marks of being well brought up, those gentlemanly arts, never go out of style.

I think of my Esteemed Companion in the midst of all this talk of old school courtesies and know that when she gets to sample them from me she knows that they are from the heart, that they are there to show her that she is worthy of that respect and care that goes along with those things that others might eschew to be too slow, clunky or old fashioned.

Whenever she thinks of me I hope she'll be able to say, "now there's a man who has the sense to be courteous, a man who knows how to hold his mud, how to open a car door, how to write a decent love letter, who knows when and where to ask the right questions, to be open and when to hold back. He is a gentleman through and through and after they were done making him they broke the mold".

I know that having all the cool toys and being hip and ironic are the hallmarks of a new age man., but baby, if I get to have a choice know that I will be old school till the day I take leave of this lovely place.

Care to take a stroll and leave those cell phones behind, anyone?


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