I’ve got a cold

I haven’t had a cold in years. It’s been great because I used to get them pretty regularly in the winter and spring. Through general healthy living I’d managed to avoid them. Same with the flu; I haven’t had the flu in a long time. Hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

I’m just waiting for Emily to call for her ride home from work. You know, it is getting dangerously close to her eighteenth birthday. It’s in July, but that feels like tomorrow to me. Gotta’ go…

Sometimes, I get depressed

Yes, it’s true, I sometimes suffer from depression. Overall it’s really very mild; it just sort of sweeps in unannounced from time to time. I believe it’s mostly, if not completely, psychological/emotional. Ironically, I seem to sabotage myself with it when things are going quite smoothly in my life. Over the years, Annette has figured out just the right combination of leaving me alone and “snap out of it” to keep the episodes short lived. For my part, I usually say and do the exact opposite of what I want. She ask, “What’s wrong?” I’ll answer, “Nothing.” She knows what that means.

I know I couldn’t live without her. I don’t know how anyone lives without someone to lean on. I know men and women are different, and can be leaned on for very different things, but everybody needs somebody to lean on. I’m glad I’ve got mine.

So long, Johnny!

I know that I’m but one of millions of people for whom Johnny Carson held a special place in our hearts. He was already there in his Tonight Show chair by the time I walk, and he didn’t leave that chair until I was 33 years old. I always loved watching the show. My earliest memories of it are noticing my dad and a couple of uncles laughing hysterically at the TV set. I looked up to see what they were laughing at and saw what appeared to be a newscast of some kind. It didn’t make any sense to me. What was so funny about some people sitting at a desk talking to each other? A few years later, another evening with folks over, the same uncles most likely, when they were showing one of the wildly popular “best-of” shows. They were all laughing at something that was about to happen. It was the Ed Ames tomahawk throw and they laughed so hard, well, I just laughed right along with them. When Johnny says, “I didn’t even know you were Jewish!” I had not the slightest idea of what he was talking about, but all the men in the room were laughing, so I laughed too. As the years rolled on, I came to love those best-of shows as they showed clips that took me back to my childhood. I guess my favorite was the Clean Copper Clappers with Jack Webb.

For some reason I have a direct association between Carson and my father. My dad loved the show too, and no doubt I learned that from him as well as a boy’s desire to simply be like his father. I have one profoundly happy memory of my dad coming into my bedroom, waking me up, saying, “Hey, get up, Carl Sagan’s on Johnny Carson.” He knew I loved Carl Sagan; and he did too.

I remember hating all the guest hosts. I remember Johnny hurting himself in an accident and being out for a long time. The night he was due to come back, I stopped everything to be in front of the TV set at 10:30. I still remember his first remark. “Anyone want to buy a slant board; slightly used?” He was like an old friend. And like I said, millions of people feel the same way right now. Goodnight Johnny.

Nothing to say

I just thought I’d let you’all know that I really don’t have anything to say. Is that so wrong? I know, I could tell you about my day or what I did this evening. But, I’m telling you, and I’ve said this before: not only is my life quite dull, but it cycles around the religious calendar and I do the same things each year over and over again. If I started telling you everything that’s going through my head right now, it would sound exactly like everything that was going through my head this time last year. At this time of year for instance, we church folk start planning for Lent and then Easter. There, I said it; are you happy now?

Well, Emily has started her last semester of her last year of high school. I’m very happy for her. I know that it’s a strange and wonderful time in a person’s life. Still stuck in high school, but very anxious to get out into the grown-up world. My advice: enjoy it, soak it up. Next September will be here before you know it and your new life will be starting. High school will be just a childhood memory.

My senior year of high school was a blast. We had a good jazz band that year and we went to Kirksville MO to participate in a national competition. It was February 27, 1977. My 18th birthday. We won first place. My life has been downhill ever since. We were immediate local heroes, playing all the grade schools in the city along with a string of other competitions. That last semester I rarely attended classes. It really spoiled me and I was not prepared for normal life when I went to college the next year. Local hero no more. But this guy was. He was our 1st Trumpeter that year. It’s good to see he’s doing so well, he was really talented.

Possible OMDYLS antidote found

After years of laborious research, a possible antidote for the common ailment know as “Old Man Dumping on Your Life” Syndrome has been found. OMDYLS is an excruciating condition where one must politely sit through long episodes of a parent telling you what’s wrong with your life. Last week at the SNS Lab, a brilliant young researcher came up with this line: “Well, what do you think I should do?” At first glance it seems a simple, maybe even natural phrase, but upon a daring implementation of the new expression, the conversation was stymied and quickly arrested. The young scientist, who desired to remain nameless, further explained, “It actually bolsters my theory, which many have scoffed at for years. The theory is that the parent simply desires to talk about themselves. If one can reflect on this as the subject parent is blathering on and on, it can make the time somewhat more tolerable.” So, it seems, if this new theory holds up, that allowing the parent to “complain” to their hearts content, maybe even encouraging it, followed by a heartfelt, “What do you think I should do?” is the best remedy for OMDYLS. We’ll keep you posted.

Coffee House Rock

The third Saturday of the month sure snuck up on us quick. We had to throw together a theme pretty quick, so while driving around one night listening to the oldies, they were having a Elvis birthday party, so I thought, that’s it, we’ll do that. Not a lot of folks came out though. The combination of the Rams play-off game and the sub-zero temperatures kept them home. Well, if they stayed home to watch the football game, I can promise you that they would have had more fun at the coffee house. The Rams were beaten badly. Oh, well, there’s always next year, right?

I know I haven’t written in a while, but it’s not because I don’t have anything going on. I guess I’ve been a touch depressed lately, although the root canal that I had last week might have something to do with it.

Ev’ry sinner looks for something
That will put his heart at ease
There is only one true answer
He must get down on his knees

Meet your neighbor in the chapel
Join with him in tears of joy
You’ll know the meaning of contentment
Then you’ll be happy with the Lord

You’ll search and you’ll search
But you’ll never find
No way on earth to gain peace of mind

Take your troubles to the chapel
Get down on your knees and pray
Your burdens will be lighter
And you’ll surely find the way

Snow in Wilmore Park

It finally snowed here in St. Louis. I know you Colorado readers are like “that ain’t snow,” but it’s the first decent one we’ve had all season. I had the pleasure of being out in it tonight and I wished I’d had a camera, it was so beautiful. So, I did a quick web search and stumbled across this picture called Snow and Three Trees taken in Wilmore Park (South St. Louis), by Donna Lochmann. She appears to be an amateur who had some friends who had a little home page at one time. She probably doesn’t even remember it’s out there. I think I’ll drop her an email to tell her that her photo hit the spot with me tonight.

you’s speak American?

It’s a well known fact down here that if you want to work at Steak N Shake, you have to speak the language good. “You’s ready to order?” better be the first words out of your mouth if want a decent tip from me. And when they start tellin’ me about the “soup of the day” at Steak N Shake, c’mon, do you see me lookin’ at a menu? And what’s up with the “Hostess Will Seat You” sign? I can think of a few things she ought to be doin’ instead of seating me. How ’bout wipin’ off the table so I can sit down? And another thing: did you hear they’re gonna bring the Metro Link right through my Steak N Shake?! It’s brand new! That ain’t right! Yeah, the one right there on Gravoise and Hampton. And the Walgreens. Yeah, that’s brand new too! That is not right. Where’d I hear it? From Bessie and she heard it from the girls at Jack-in-the-Box, probably Jan, and she pretty much knows everything. I will not eat at the one on Chippewa, if I have to, I’ll just go back out to the one on Lindbergh. That used to be mine; until they built the new one on Gravoise. Now they’re talkin’ about tearin’ it down. Did you hear that? Somebody told me that.

Blog: Word of the year

Yes, that’s right, according to Merriam-Webster, “Blog” is the word of the year. I can see that. I started blogging this year, my sister started blogging this year, by friend Tim who was already writing on-line every night said, sure, it’s a blog, whatever. They made the news with the Dan Rather thing and most recently with the Indian Ocean Tsunami tragedy, have shown how useful they can be to gather news.

For me it’s been mostly a way to challenge myself to write a little on a regular basis (failing miserably on this lately!) and also a way to keep in contact with friends and family. They read mine, I read theirs, you know, warmth and closeness. I say something to my dad about my sister and he says, “you talked to her?” and I say, “no, I read it on her blog.” He says, “huh?” Well, not anymore. He knows what a blog is now. Now that they’ve hit the big time.

Well, I can’t say I’m too disappointed that the holidays are over. It was pretty much non-stop for us. Here it is in a nutshell: family, family, church, family, family, family, church; rest, family, church, church and then church. I’m going to try to get back on track writing again. See you tomorrow night.