June 13th, 2005

masked bobby

gee-willickers: a great day; and What Was Wrong With Doogie's Diary

As a tag line to the week's show, Doogie Howser, M.D.'s cutesy pondered coupla philosophical sentences sorta worked, in a lame THEMEatic way, but as a diary they sucked. Later, looking back over it, all he'da seen woulda been something like

January 3, 1991
Sometimes the best thing is not the thing you expect.
[pause; shot of Doogie looking thoughtful; maybe a moment of him saying hi to his friend at the window...] [oh, i nearly forgot the ellipsis:] . . . Sometimes it's the last thing you thought you wanted.

---and wtf good would THAT be then?

I know I do the Doogie now and then here, just as much when I'm trying to be cagey with a secret note to myself of additional meaning as when I'm hoping some profound understatement of vagueness may result. But I do seem to know later what I meant. At least I give it a little context. (For the record, the fake Doogie lines above are not at all encoded or relevant, you may be relieved to know.)

My today was grand, despite it being my 5th day in a row of mild digestive distress, & despite the batting cages being closed, & despite vjsmom having a lousy day. Otherwise, 'twas grand. Started out chatting with E, then putzing my way to a delish & fun brunch with K, then putzing around with her some more. Among much other good convo, hit on something fun that therapists should recommend instead of the letter you write & don't have to send to the one who haunts you: the letter you wish you'd get back. The fantasy reply! Or just the fantasy contact out the blue unprompted. What a fine form! Try it some time, you other haunted people. It's transportingly cathartic, if only for a moment then the moment's gone. ("It started out like a sooonnnnnnggggg...." ---who knows that one? None of you, I bet. Maybe psychesdesire?) (Oh, wait---that bit's not from that one... it's from "Dust in the Wind"! haw! the song I was thinking of has a line like "some angry moments, of course, but just a few"---and isn't even the one I really liked from that show ---giving enough hints yet? The one I really liked is more embarrassing than that one OR "Dust..."; it's "Not a Day Goes By." Well, and "Old Friends" is pretty fine in many places, at least to one's inner schmalzaholic, and Sondheim always gives the word lover something to savor, which feels like it should make up for emotional indulgence, yes?)

So THEN I went swimming. And I did better than I've ever done, easily. Benefitted from both kc's suggestion about breathing/rolling and from my own realization (in the Duh! department---about number 17 of the Swimming Duh!s so far) that you don't have to go as fast as you can all the time, and it may even help to go at a bit more leisurely pace. Didn't make it the whole length yet, but made a quarter to a third of the pool several times, and then half the pool, easily, twice, with no stopping. You know, while doing the breathing & crawling thing. What my feet are up to I really have no clue; I think my right foot is swirling in circles and my left doing a frog kick, most of the time. Maybe I'm unconsciously trying to do that thing that went around by e-mail a few years ago, about trying to do something or another &, at the same time, twirl your foot clockwise. No matter, however! 'Twas glorious nonetheless. It may not sound like much to you, but it's much. Mucho much.

Then talked to S & J & S. Then watched a Six Feet Under (season 3, disk three, episode one, or SFU 3:6, I think, in the new bible-style chapter & verse way I think it should be cited). Then played with and loved on the cat until he'd had his fill. Now this, & then a big glass of cold water & then bed, which should be easier tonight in the not-so-hot. And anyway, even if it's less than comfortable, I'm just going to BE with it, as L said they say.

In conclusion, that was a day that was.
masked bobby

Uncle Orville

Uncle Orville pic

Yes, it's dead relative time again, only I'm not so sure Uncle Orville is dead. Orville remarried after my great aunt Dora died, and his new wife didn't want him to stay in touch with any of her family. He was a campus cop at Emporia State, and probably 20+ years younger than Dora, the strict old school teacher. (Speculation about their relationship still fascinates me.) Orville & Dora had a zillion outdoor cats running around the place, often under the porch where the lattice work was---cats were pretty mysterious to me back then. They also had a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom, opened by stepping on a pedal. Very cool.

Orville had a John Deere tractor my brother loved to ride on, and so I did, too, but even more I loved his dog, Rover, and that Rover's name was Rover. And I loved the funny (and a little scary) long low barn with straw in it. And the fact that every time he came to see us in Manhattan he gave me & my brother each a JFK half dollar. Oh---and that he taught me how to do those sliding-number or -letter puzzles he loved so well. You know the kind. Slide the boxes around to restore order, or make a picture, or achieve some other goal (though Orville's were always letters or numbers, usually with a lot of blocks/tiles---like, 30ish or so---and well made of plastic, with tight action, and smoothly lubed). (This page has some sliding block puzzle action, if you've got the plug-in.) Having been paying attention to what was stymieing me, Uncle O showed me a trick, and I got it, and that was great. For all the thinky types in our clan, it's odd how rare that sort of moment was in my experience. An affable good guy, he was and maybe is!

At one point I tried to convince my friends that Orville's last name was also Orville, and that, in fact, his middle name was Orville, too. Alas, it was not true. Orville was (or is) a Swender.