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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Well, another Saturday dawns at Port Swiller Manor and finds Robbo staring at the radar and wondering whether he has time to spritz the weeds with Round-Up before the thunderstorms move in. Probably not. At least I got the grass cut last evening, so that’s something.
♦ I mentioned the Gels of MASN in the post immediately below. Now I will tell you something about my own gel of summah. The eleven year old has inserted herself in a rotation of two or three regulars playing catcher for her softball team this season. T’other evening I was watching her in action behind the plate when it suddenly occurred to me why she enjoys the position so much: It’s a spotlight. The catchers are constantly complimented by coaches and crowds for their handing of what can be quite eccentric pitching at this level. There’s also great satisfaction in staring down a runner at third who’s thinking of stealing. However, she especially loves dramatically sweeping off her face-mask when pursuing a pop foul. What a ham. (To her credit, she is good at it, too.)
♦ Speaking of ball clubs, ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats find themselves on a little five-game winning streak and look to be settling back into their true form. My blood pressure has dropped several points over the past week or so as a result. Go, NATS!!
♦ I look with horror and revulsion at the information coming to light about what happened in Libya. (Well, not just that, of course.) But I am all the more horrified by my feeling that nothing will really come of it. Why? Because if you ask the opinion of the average low-information voter, you’re likely to get the answer,”Ben Ghazi? Who? Isn’t he that NFL player who just came out? Or is he the one dating a Kardashian?”
♦ Speaking of such things, I don’t usually read much political or social science, but by happenstance two new books have seized the Robbo attention. The first is Roger Kimball’s The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia. Jay Nordlinger has been quoting and reviewing the book extensively over at NRO, and much of what he cites goes right to ol’ Robbo’s heart. The other book, by another NRO writer, is Kevin Williamson’s The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure. I believe that I’ve written here before of my belief that we, as a nation, are hurtling toward catastrophe. But I also said that, however hard it’s going to be, there isn’t reason just yet to save that last round for yourself. Williamson’s theme, from the blurbs and interviews I’ve seen, appears to follow this same line. Anyway, I like his writing style. (UPDATE: Here is The Czar’s review. Makes me all the more eager to dive in.)
I’ll let you know what I think.
♦ Some might suggest that ol’ Robbo spend his valuable reading time not with works that reenforce his own world view but with those that challenge it. To them, I respectfully reply: Get stuffed. Through some horrid process of social evolution, I seem to have become a bona fide member of the counterculture. I look out from the redoubt and see the “challenge” swirling around it continually. No need to unlock the gate and let them in.
♦ Oh, since I am posting so sparsely these days, let me get this out of the way: Happy Mother’s Day.
♦ Tomorrow is also Ascension Sunday. Or, as Father Z rants about it, Ascension Thursday Sunday. Go on over and enjoy if you like this sort of thing (which I do).
♦ Speaking of rants, alert friends of the decanter may have noticed the absence here of complaints about tourons, a subject which in past years has consumed so much of Robbo’s thought. This is simply due to teh fact that I have been driving into work since last August instead of taking the metro, so just don’t have that much personal contact with them anymore. However, this change in commuting practice has not done away with the touron menace so much as transformed it into another shape. Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded tour busses. As the weather warms, these behemoths are starting to seriously jam up my afternoon drive. (And when it takes me an hour to go ten city blocks, I have every right to be cranky about it.) As a rule, I try to be a courteous driver – giving people room to merge in, for instance; stopping to let somebody pull out of a driveway. Not so with these busses, from which I use every method, legal or otherwise, to dodge, cut off or otherwise distance myself. Grrrrrrr…….
♦ And may I just remark here (perhaps again) on what a wonderful city car the Jeep Wrangler really is? Its small size, quick pickup and sweet maneuverability make it ideal for nipping in and out of traffic.
Well, I glance out the window and here’s the rain. Too bad. Everything was probably too wet to begin with anyway.
UPDATE: In re the low-information voter above, I should have noted that their next sentence would have been, “Hey, when do I get all my free shite?” ”Low-information voter” is one way to describe them, but I think “Bread-and-Circuses voter” is even more apt.
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
My name is Robbo and I am the sometime host of this blog.
My apologies for the sporadic posties of late. The fact is that Mrs. R had to go in for some emergency surgery two weeks ago and things have been rayther at sixes and sevens since then. (She’s fine, btw, but just now getting back up to speed.) Also, Mr. Pollen has been putting the hurt on me over the past couple days.
Thus, my Muse, instead of sitting proudly on my shoulder and inspiring me to heights of erudition and eloquence, has instead been cowering in the corner in a fetal ball, whimpering and muttering, “No hablo Ingles, senior…”.
Anyhoo, good God Almighty what a week it’s been, no? As I type, Drudge is suggesting that they
may have nailed have captured the second Marathon bastard bomber bastard. And all the usual suspects are already starting the crimination/recrimination games. I positively swear that I heard a few seconds of somebody on NPR this evening suggestion that the younger brother was a “victim” himself, a troubled yoot that our cold, crass system had allowed to “slip through the cracks”.
And so we navel-gaze while the barbarians undermine the wall.
Remember how in M*A*S*H* Alan Alda often delivered that smug and smarmy line, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” Well, either through idiocy or willfulness (or probably both – see Jonah Goldberg’s Tyranny of Cliches), he never finished the thought, and thereby skewed it exactly wrong. The line is from a poem called “What If?”, usually attributed to Bertolt Brecht and criticizing pacifism. It runs in full:
What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Why then the war will come to you!
He who stays home when the fight begins
And lets another fight for his cause
Should take care:
He who does not take part
In the battle will share in the defeat.
Even avoiding battle will not avoid Battle,
since not to fight for your own cause really means
Fighting in behalf of your enemy’s cause.
I am not (yet) of the camp that attributes our confused and self-destructive response to Jihad to a deliberate ploy by Libs to ruin this country. Instead, I still believe it is a matter of naiveté, fecklessness, hubristic posturing and a vague desire that it will all somehow just go away by itself.
Well, it won’t.
Speaking of battles, I ran off the movie Red Tails the other evening, a film that purports to tell the story of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. I won’t say much about the film itself, as it turned out to be a horridly cartoonish thing, indulging in cliche and caricature and doing absolutely nothing to actually honor or, more importantly, EXPLAIN these remarkable pilots and their stunning record of success. Instead, I use it as yet another exhibit in support of a policy I intend to implement upon becoming Emperor of the World. Under my wise and benevolent reign, CGI-created machines (in this case, WWII-era fighters and bombers), will not be permitted to act in ways physically impossible for their real-world counterparts.
Do you hear, George Lucas (who was behind this movie)? If you make a P-51 Mustang act like one of your freakin’ X-wings on MY watch, you are going to be subject to a public flogging. You’ve been warned.
Speaking of warnings, the youngest gel, now aged 11 and quite full of herself, has taken to calling me “Dude” lately. Each time she does it, I promptly correct her. She just as promptly apologizes. But that doesn’t seem to prevent her from doing it the next time. Grrrrrr.
One of my resolutions this Easter season is to dip into various authors I’ve not read before. To this end, I recently acquired the collected works of Flannery O’Connor. I also procured Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. Two other authors who have appeared on my radar are Walker Percy and John Buchan (of 39 Steps fame). Any suggestions re these two would be appreciated, although I must warn you that I gather Buchan is mostly a whodunnit kind of fellah and detective stories (even those concerning Sherlock Holmes himself) have never really grasped my interest that much. Oh, and friends of the decanter are always welcomed to suggest other authors and books. Regular readers probably know ol’ Robbo pretty well at this point, so you know what might interest me.
Of course, if you were to ask what I’m reading at this very minute, for all my talk of expanded horizons I would have to confess that I’m working my way through the Waugh cycle for the umpteenth time and thoroughly enjoying myself.
Speaking of expanding, we are in the initial steps of doing away with the weather-beaten and code-violating back porch at Port Swiller Manor and replacing it with a three-season room. The building guy and architect were out this morning to take measurements and discuss ideas. I kept an eye on the architect as he free-handed a sketch of the existing and proposed structures in his notebook. It was absolutely fascinating to watch the virtual blueprint emerging from his squigglings. I suppose it’s routine when you’re in the biz, but as a layman I was deeply impressed.
Well, not much else to say at the moment. This was one of those horrid evenings in which Mrs. R and I were required to transport the gels to and from various activities in a logistical scheme that made Operation Overlord look like a game of pickup football. I loathe such days. To add to the fun, the area has been subject to torrential rains off and on all evening. The poor visibility, coupled with my rotten night vision, had ol’ Robbo tooling about the highways and byways muttering under his breath about “driving by Braille”.
The upside of such an evening’s toil and travail is that when everyone finally returns to base safe and sound, that extra glass of wine tastes especially good. I invite you to join me!
Well, after my mini-hiatus (assuming it’s over) and the condolence/reminiscence post below that more or less wrote itself, I thought I’d try dipping the port swiller toe back in the water with a little bit of randomness. Here goes:
♦ After a very late dose of cold, Spring has finally and truly come to the environs of Port Swiller Manor. Today was the first day of the year that I took the top off the ol’ Wrangler. Spring and fall are, of course, the optimal times for this, the days of High Summah being too darn hot to lose all that valuable shade.
♦ I’ve decided that when we get our next cats, one of them is definitely going to be named Mr. Joyboy. There are few names in liddershur that make me snigger quite so much. Now all I need is a suitable companion name, since we’re probably going to wind up getting a couple. The leading candidate at the moment is Tobermory, although I fear that might be too phonetically similar and cause some feline confusion.
♦ We had a bit of a medical scare over the weekend at Port Swiller Manor that involved Mrs. R having to rush to the hospital for emergency surgery. All is well now and she is resting, but your humble host is in the doghouse just a bit for having dismissed the preliminary symptoms as nothing more than “too much Chipoltle”.
♦ Whoever it was who recommended to ol’ Robbo http://www.freetaxusa.com last year, thanks again. After my second year with it, I have to confess that it is superior to my flailing about with pencil, calculator and foolscap.
♦ Well, so much for Robbo’s beloved Nats going 162-0 this year, which is what I think we fans were secretly hoping/expecting.
♦ On the other hand, the youngest gel’s team is 2-0 after this past weekend’s battles. So we’ve got that going for us.
Enough to start?
I realize that the time thingy on this post (for those of you who notice such) reads March 21, making ol’ Robbo look a day late. (I would add the second half of the tag about being a dollar short, but with a wife and three daughters on my hands, you will understand if I consider such observation to be superfluous.) However, with respect to teh time-stamp issue at hand, I will offer two comments:
First, the techno-anomaly that causes posts I compose in the evening of the one day to seem as if they were crafted the next allows a certain, ah, temporal ambiguity, which I refuse to concede as a Bad Thing. Whereas I was able to take advantage of this ambiguity in, as it were, one temporal direction in the post immediately below, I now take advantage of it in the opposite direction. At Port Swiller Manor, it is still, definitively, at least for the purposes of “scientific” accuracy and this particular post, March 20th, at least for the next hour or so.
Second, cheerfully throwing overboard the tortured logic of the prior paragraph, I would note that for many years I have thought Spring ought to start officially on March 21 anyway. Spare me the astronomical jibber-jabber about the hours of daylight and the Earth’s angle of axis in relation to the Sun and all the rest of it. I’m thinking on a more psychological plane here. You see, I’m of the school that says numeric progression begins with the number “one” and that this is immensely important to our collective spirit. Thus, our practice of numbering years “Anno Domine” begins each decade (and each century, and each millennium) with the first numbered year. 1 A.D., was the first year of said numbering. 1801 was the first year of the 19th Century. 2001 was the first year of the Second Millennium. And so on.
Not that there’s a real logic to it (well, in fact, there is – a mighty good one, but it’s not important here), but the psychology of this phenomenon that I mentioned above to me trumps with respect to these seasonal transitions. “March 20″, in my humble opinion, invokes a tired sense of “Yep, another ten days of March slogged through. Woo. Bloody. Hoo.”
On the other hand, if Spring is to start on March 21, well, there’s all the sense of freshness, of new beginnings, of page-turning and the like.
That’s my theory, at any rate. And I’m sticking to it.
Not that Ma Nature is paying the slightest attention to any of this. After another Winter of Meh, we’re supposed to get flurries tonight and some kind of indeterminate rain/sleet/snow combo early next week. This means that although I can carry out my plans to cut back Kong the Buddleia and the Konglings this weekend, any thought of setting up the new arbor over the side gate (which entails pouring concrete around the bases) or sprinkling foxglove and butterfly weed seeds in teh garden (in order to “supplement” the offshoots of the current inhabitants) is right out.
Oh, speaking of such matters, I would note for friends of the decanter that, owing to what little influence of ol’ Robbo actually wields around here, Port Swiller Manor entertains a peculiar linguistic quirk to celebrate this particular seasonal transition. At my insistence, the family is not allowed, for example, to say, “Spring has sprung.” Instead, they are requested and required to follow my lead in saying, “Spring has sproinged.”
Don’t ask me why I have substituted the verb “sproing” for the verb “spring” in this particular context. I just have, okay?
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
After getting very excited about a rumor floating around the nets yesterday afternoon that Pope Francis had thrown the disgraced Bernard, Cardinal Law out of the Vatican on his monstrous backside, a rumor that now appears to be unfounded, ol’ Robbo came to the realization that it is time to calm down, take a deep breath and just wait to see what happens.
So instead, I give you this: Council bans apostrophes from all street signs to avoid ‘confusion’.
Mid-Devon District Council said its new streets had not contained apostrophes for many years but the policy was now being made official.
Residents and plain English campaigners criticised the move, but the council said apostrophes could only be found in three street names in the district.
It added that Beck’s Square and Blundell’s Avenue both in Tiverton and St George’s Well in Cullompton were all named many years ago.
Andrew Lacey, of Mid-Devon District Council, said there was no national guidance that stops apostrophes being used.
But proofreader Mary de Vere Taylor from Ashburton said the thought of apostrophes being removed made her shudder.
I shudder, too. Indeed, the grammar aside, I find myself mystified at what possible “confusion” could result from the difference between “Beck’s” and “Becks” Square. Would the presence of the apostrophe be enough to distract a lorry driver, causing him to careen straight through the plate-glass window of a nearby china shop?
In my misspent yoot, we lived next door to some people I will call the Smiths. They had a little plaque on their mailbox pillar that read “the Smith’s” which the Mothe routinely mocked to our tender ears. Indeed, these folks became known in the family vocabulary as “the Smith-apostrophe-s”.
I never forgot that. It was, perhaps, a rayther more brutal form of grammatickal education than the Schoolhouse Rock ditties on the teevee, but it was quite effective for all that.
In fact, the rules of apostrophe usage are really quite easy. If the Mid-Devon District Council is so concerned as to feel compelled to take O-fficial action, instead of dumbing down the street signs may I suggest that they stock the local library with copies of Lynne Truss’s The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You CAN’T Manage Without Apostrophes!
UPDATE: Here’s a nifty little article on the historickal development of the possessive apostrophe, a story that has always given me a great deal of geeky pleasure.
Some frightful rotter called Sebastian Faulks has been asked to write a new version of the P G Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster novels, to be called Jeeves and the Wedding Bells.
The news is enough to make one’s knotted and combined locks part like the quills on a fretful porpentine. Sebastian Faulks may be a very brainy chap, and good at pastiching, which he did rather well in his James Bond novel, Devil May Care. But whatever name you can hurl at Ian Fleming, prose stylist is not one. Writing a version of what is technically workmanlike prose requires a workmanlike attitude.
Wodehouse, however, is the stylist of stylists, and very hard to imitate (see above). His cadenced sentences play with literature. (Bertie Wooster, for all his apparent silliness, has a large stock of quotes bubbling in his grey matter – he’s an Oxford man after all.) His plots are as finely calibrated as a miniature clock. If a cow creamer looms large on page 2, then it will return in vengeful form on pg 243. There is no (serious) violence or vileness: even Fascism is brought to its knees, in the person of the frightful Roderick Spode, merely by mentioning the name “Eulalie”.
Bingo. Souffle? Meet pickaxe!
Also, it’s not just the style but the substance, too:
That is expressive of an entire, Edenic world, which our own times are too cynical and ironical to be able to fully recreate. Faulk’s Wooster will no doubt laugh at himself laughing about things such as this: “No joke for a girl who thinks she’s going to be Countess of Sidcup to have the fellow say ‘April Fool, my little chickadee. What you’re going to be is Mrs Spode.’” Faulks will create a meta-Wodehouse. A what? I hear you say. Well, quite.
‘Zactly. We are lesser people. That “Edenic world” crack, by the bye, is lifted straight out of a quote of Evelyn Waugh’s praise for Plum, which I would imagine has appeared on just about every Wodehouse book-jacket and fly sheet since, oh, about 1945 or so.
One is left asking oneself the question: Why? Why on earth?
It is too late to stop the publishing juggernaut that has spawned this idea, which is no doubt intended to draw attention back to the original novels. But we should leave Mr Faulks to write novels about the State of England (something that Wodehouse would never have done), and let those lovely frolics speak for themselves, for I fear that Faulks’s attempt will be, at best, the sort of thing that would make an undertaker look twice, before trying to embalm.
Is the idea that forcing ourselves to read such a butchery will make us appreciate the genius of the originals even more? Trick-cyclists have a name for that, you know. By the bye, Mr. Newspaper Critic Person, you foozled the punch-line. It ought to read, “I fear that Faulke’s attempt will be, at best, the sort of thing at which an undertaker would take only a single look before reaching for the old embalming fluid.”
Needless to say, ol’ Robbo will pass on this.
One of ol’ Robbo’s Lenten practices is to try and restrict himself to reading books that, if not purely theologickal in themselves, at least may be said to be Christian-themed.
This, of course, provides some wiggle room. I’m hardly a saint myself, and the truth of the matter is that I have neither the strength of will nor the concentration to spend all my time on the various Apologetics, Lives, analyses and other weightier works on my list. Sometimes I need to get to something a bit different.
So, for example, I almost always reread C.S. Lewis’ Ransom Trilogy at this time of year. (As a matter of fact, I’m half-way through Perelandra even as I type.)
At any rate, due to a flurry of activity on the devil’s website, I have several new-to-me books to add to the list. Given that they’re still predicting a serious storm round here, I may dip into one of them as early as this afternoon:
Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. I’ve never read any Greene. On the other hand, through one source and another I’ve become increasingly aware of and interested in the Mexican socialists’ brutal treatment of the Church in the 20th Century. (There’s those damned People Persons again!) As this book is about that very subject, I thought it would be a nifty introduction to both.
Evelyn Waugh’s Helena. A dramatization of the life of St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine and purported collector of the True Cross. I’m told this is not, um, one of Waugh’s better books, but I feel compelled to read it nonetheless, at least the once, for myself.
Aloise Buckley Heath’s Will Mrs. Major Go To Hell? This is all Jordana’s direct fault for jiggling loose a post-it-note I had stuck in a back corner of my braim years and years ago. Delightful stories, from all that I’ve heard.
So that ought to keep me busy for a little while, at any rate. Another name that keeps floating across my internal radar is Walker Percy. Any of my fellow port swillers have any recommendations about him?
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
♦ First, thankee to those of you who are still dropping in even though ol’ Robbo’s flow of quips and quibbles are hardly to be heard in flocks these days, and what he does post tends to be, shall we say, single-tracked. My site meter and I appreciate the little bumps.
♦ When last I dropped in I mentioned that hive of slimy, drippy hornets setting up shop in my nose? Well the whole thing blossomed into one of those 48 hour bugs that knocks one absolutely flat on one’s back. Tuesday morning I managed just enough energy around six ack emma to email into the shop and tell them I wasn’t going to make it to work. I then rolled over and took what I thought to be a mere fifteen minute power nap. However, when I looked at the clock again, it was nearly four in the afternoon. Yes, it was one of those. Much better now, fortunately.
♦ Anyhoo, today is the first day in which the Chair of St. Peter stands empty.
I confess that I honestly don’t feel the same degree of emotion as some of my friends and colleagues have expressed over this momentous state of affairs. I don’t think this has anything to do with the depth of either their sincerity of faith or with my own. Instead, I believe it’s the residual effect of still being a relatively new convert. While I can fully appreciate things on an intellectual level, my roots just don’t feel quite deep enough yet for me to fully take it in on a more, to keep the metaphor consistent, earthy level. If that makes any sense. (The suggestion that ol’ Robbo is, at heart, simply rayther a cold, emotionless fish is, of course, absolute tommyrot.)
Well anyway, there it is. I am, of course, praying that the Conclave of Cardinals pays close attention to the Holy Ghost in its choice of Benedict’s successor. He’s certainly going to have his work cut out for him.
♦ On a somewhat related note: T’other evening I found myself reading the last section of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. For those of you who might not recall, this is the part of the book where Lewis deals with the pitfalls of trying to get there. I often think of this part of the book as sort of the inverse of his Screwtape, i.e., a mirror image to the ease with which we can slide into damnation, and always find it quite as chilling in its own way.
At any rate, later on that evening I had a dream. In it, the Family Robbo was at what I took to be the Chinese Embassy. (Well, it was full of Chinese people, anyway.) We were there, apparently, so that Mrs. R could be honored with some kind of teaching award. We made our way into a grand banquet room which I recall contained a great many candles. On the tables there seemed to be a particular emphasis on bread and wine. Right in the middle of the room was the table of honor designated for us and for what I suppose were the grand pooh-bahs who would be presiding over the award-giving.
As we made our way to our table, the gels and Mrs. R fanned out and duly found their allotted seats. I, on the other hand, despite furious scanning about, could not find a place-card with my name on it. Finally, I looked up and noted that there were a few unreserved tables scattered in the corners of the room. A voice, perhaps Mrs. R’s, said that maybe I should just go sit at one of them.
Instead, I strode out of the room and into the hall in a huff. Mrs. R followed me out and tried to get me to come back in, but I was determined to skip dinner altogether and have myself a jolly good sulk.
And then, as they say, I woke up.
As the psychiatrist says of Basil Fawlty, “there’s enough material there for an entire conference”. But you knew that already. One friend suggested that perhaps it meant the Palies are right after all. To quote Daffy Duck, “HAR, har. Hardee-HAR-har.”
♦ So here we are, closing out the second week of Lent. After some initial flailing about, which I mentioned somewhere below, I think I’ve got my schedule of abstinences down pretty pat. However, the devil threw me a nasty breaking ball last evening. One of the things I’ve given up for the season is teevee. So what was on? Only the first broadcast spring training game of Robbo’s beloved Nationals, that’s all. I admit that I had to wrestle with swinging at that one a bit, fighting off all sorts of devious justifications for chasing a bad pitch just this once. I’m happy to say that I held out. Not even a check-swing.
In fact, Opening Day is Monday, April 1st, the day after Easter. I reckon I’ll enjoy watching that game all the more for sticking with my self-imposed discipline now.
We have been doing a certain amount of reorganization-cum-spring cleaning around Port Swiller Manor of late. One of the results of this effort is the discovery by ol’ Robbo that we seem to have rayther a largish collection of what they like to call “parenting” books. Disbursed hither and yon about the house they never brought themselves to my notice before, but placed all together on the same shelves, well, they kinda add up.
Not that I’ve ever read any of them, of course, nor do I plan to. In the matter of raising children (as it is properly termed), my brief experience of What to Expect When You’re Expecting-type literature convinced me of the dangers of becoming too enslaved to such guides and being turned by their myriad conflicting suggestions, prompts and warnings into a twitching, neurotic basket-case. Instead, I’ve always preferred the hands-on empirical method. Even when I make a mistake, I’m at least able to keep my sanity.
But that’s not why I mention this collection. No, instead, it’s for a much simpler and light-hearted reason. To wit:
Whilst skimming over the various volumes, most of which having dreary names such as The Seven Worst Things (Good) Parents Do and Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul, I stumbled across one that had me doubled over, hooting with laughter:
GET OUT OF MY LIFE! (But First Could You Drive Me And Cheryl To The Mall?) – A Parent’s Guide To The New Teenager, by Anthony E. Wolf.
As I say, I haven’t read the book. But that title! That, IMHO, is teh goods. That’s funny. That nails it in one. And oddly enough, it’s really most of what you need in order to keep your perspective when dealing with said teenagers. (And I can personally vouch that when one of them is on a tirade and the title wanders into your brain causing you to involuntarily start snickering, it drives them absolutely nuts!)
I pass it on for what it’s worth. Share and enjoy!
And speaking of which, I couldn’t help noticing that a book which I have, indeed, read and which is another great perspective-booster also made it on to this shelf: Daddy Needs A Drink by Rob Wilder. It’s a collection of humorous essays about dealing with small children, but I think the title carries over well to the more advanced years, too. Well worth a couple bob for those of you now dealing with sippy cups and core-breach diapers and who could use a good laugh. (Full disclosure: Wilder was a year behind me in college. I didn’t really know him, but he was a friend of friends. I’d still recommend the book regardless.)
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
My apologies to those two or three of you still loitering over the decanter and waiting for ol’ Robbo to serve up some table-thumping diatribe on such topics as take his fancy, but I did warn that I would be curtailing such activities during Lent.
Now that we’re a week into the season and the programme of abstinence, reflection and devotions is rolling into high gear, I am reaching that traditional point where I wonder whether I had ought to tinker with it.
You see, not only has ol’ Robbo parted from teh grape until Easter (well, barring Sundays of course), but I’ve also axed both teevee and musicke.
This makes the long evenings, well, long.
You might say that I ought to devote the time to improving readings. I would answer that I, in fact, do so, but that one can only take in so much GKC, Newman and Cardinal Ratzinger at a time, especially after a day’s labor, before one’s eyes start to flutter.
You might then say that I ought then to go to bed early. I would answer that I, in fact, have been doing so, but that once I actually insert the person between the sheets, I find myself ironically wide awake. The alteration in diet that comes with the season always has a radical effect on Robbo’s sleeping patterns, making his slumbers much shallower and his dreams much more vivid, while also causing long periods of wakefulness. (The same sort of thing happens whenever I’m traveling on biz nay.) And it doesn’t help that our elderly cat has taken to the habit of yowling at the top of her lungs in the middle of the night, demanding that somebody pet her.
The upshot is a certain amount of exhaustion on my part. Thus the urge to tinker: I gotta get some sleep!
On the other hand, I remind myself that Billy Joel once said, “Don’t forget your second wind.” (Indeed, once that damned tune wandered into my head, I couldn’t get it out again. Somebody please make it go away!)
So for now, I’ll probably just stick with things as they are and see if I can’t just power through until Sunday.