March 4, 2011


Let’s take a break from the movies for a day. Tonight I’m patio blogging. It’s very, very late on a Friday night. I should be in bed by now, but it’s hard to decompress from such a long and hard work week so I’ve retreated to this quiet, happy little place long after Tracey and her twin sister (staying for the weekend) have departed for the confines of the bedroom. There’s a rising breeze from the north, and I’m here in a comfy wicker chair under soft pineapple lights, the wind chimes above me tinkling their approval as the palm trees around the pool rustle their own.

I wish I had a camera that could take night pictures, because it really is a happy spot – especially when at such a late hour the temperatures are still in the high ’50s. Real, bonafide Spring has arrived in the Valley this week, with the first flowering bushes (the yellow acacia) bursting into yellow. The mourning doves hav also gotten really active – you know what that means!

Hard to believe at such a late hour there are still planes flying into Sky Harbor Airport, but one just passed over us. That’s what you get when you live in the farthest reaches of the Mountain Time Zone.

Finished reading “King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era”. It was good, not great. But I definitely know a whole lot more about Joplin than I did before.

Now I’m reading “The Sugar King of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba’s Last Tycoon”. From its very first pages I can tell it’s going to be a great read.

There’s a nice breeze starting to come up at this hour. One thing I’ll never get used to around here is how desert breezes come up at any and every particular time without any seeming reason, then maybe a half-hour later disappear just as mysteriously as they came.

I’m feeling pretty burned out tonight – all these 60-70 hour weeks are bound to catch up from time to time. Yesterday, I laid down for twenty minutes just to rest my eyes and woke up two hours later not knowing where I was. I feel like my whole life is being lived in the twilight. But I like what I do for a living, so what are you gonna do?

There’s a line in “The Sugar King” where Lobo, long in years after many years of success as a sugar baron, finds a young office boy turned Castro revolutionary sitting at the grand desk he has occupied. The revolutionary says to him, “Lobo, the revolution has given you what you deserved and stripped you naked”, upon which Lobo responds, “That’s OK, some of the best times I ever knew was when I was a child and naked”. I think about the economy, the direction ths country is headed, and my age, and I know the day will come when all of these happy and peaceful patio surroundings will be taken away from me. Could be through economics, or age or health reasons; could be ten years from now, could be tomorrow, but I’m good with that. Nothing lasts forever, our mortality is aways staring us in the face even if we haven’t got the courage and humilty to recognize it. I’m good with that.

Many people, I think, go through life thinking they’re invincible, that somehow what they are and what they have will always be there. Me, I’ve never been that way. I try to appreciate every day for what it is, and will never again take for granted how fortunate I have been: fortunate to have been born to wonderful parents, to have been brought up where I was as a New Englander, to have been given an ear for music, to have true and wonderful friends (Goodboys and otherwise), to have married a great girl and her equally great (although at times trying) twin sister – a quick word to the gents out there: when you marry a twin you marry both of them – and to have traveled and lived the places I have.

I remember one Saturday afternoon while Tracey and I were living back in Massachusetts not that long after we were married, and saying to her that if I never got out of Massachusetts I would consider my life a failure. Well, I’ve certainly accomplished that, and, like everything else, there’s good and bad – to everything there is a blessing and a curse. In the end it doesn’t matter, I guess: you make due with what God has given you and hopefully you recognize the opportunities that come to us all when they present themselves. More than anything else, you don’t leave the world in a worse place then it was when you first came into it. I don’t think I’ve done that.

The breeze has suddenly gotten a bit of chill to it, so enough philosophy. I’m going to bed.

But before I go, how about a great (albeit unheralded) Fleetwood Mac tune to say goodnight to. Listen for the Stevie Nicks’ low harmony (at times she’s she’s singing even lower than Lindsay Buckingham!). Awesome.

Night, all.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:25 | Comments (0)
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