Monthly Archives: May 2019
Flowers. No. Chocolates. Not this year. Jewelry. Nope. New car. Not exactly. However…even better than all of those useless consumer excesses…I received enchiladas and new socks. And the enchiladas were especially prepared for me without meat. And the socks came from REI. I do have these fine sons who, if they thought for a minute I wanted flowers and chocolates would have showered me with said items. Probably. I mean I think they would have. Possibly. No, I’m sure they would have. I think. Love you guys, and actually you’re quite wonderful human beings. And I only like flowers embroidered on expensive jeans, butterscotch better than chocolate, jewelry…haven’t worn any since 1970…why start up with all those gaudy baubles now, already have a Focus and who could want more. So guys you are covered…though the jeans might be available at Nordstrom’s and Memorial Day is coming up…
It’s not easy being a blogger. It means one is supposed to post a photo, a comment or two, a story, a pithy observation, more photos…be present. Sometimes work or family or friends or the gym or cleaning or shopping or sleep keeps one otherwise occupied. And sometimes…it is a completely irresistible book.
Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer in this case. What’s so special you may ask? For me it is the history of a time, starting in early days Vietnam and ending with the protagonist’s death a few short years ago. It is Packer’s writing, smart and easy, a story well told about just who we (Americans) are and are not. It is Richard Holbrooke, the brilliant guy, the good guy, the outsize character with outsize flaws; not sure why but I’ve always been interested in him, only as the dashing diplomat, without a whole lot of additional knowledge. It’s all of that.
The first quarter or so of the story concerns Vietnam so it’s not that I’m learning so much new about the big picture (thanks to Ken Burns, Andrew X. Pham, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Tim O’Brien; oh yeah, and living through that time with Dylan as soundtrack) but it is filled with details, vaguely or not at all familiar, that enrage me all over again. Somebody said another of Packer’s books was almost novelistic in the telling and it’s true of Our Man as well; rich in detail and insight and little asides straight from the writer to me, the reader. Packer has written a number of books; I even own another…sadly unread…but now next on the agenda. He’s somebody new to collect from the past and anticipate for the future.
I’m excited to move on in a few minutes into the other adventures and misadventures of American diplomacy in Holbrooke’s lifetime of which I know so much less, especially the Balkans and Afghanistan (I am ashamed to say).
An evening and a whole day lie ahead with only writing and reading projects on the want-to-do list. Living room scrubbed and dusted today, all else put off until next week. There really is nothing as fine as a good book. Yay books, yay weekends, yay life.
I have an easily annoyed stomach who (which?) forces me to eat early, eat lightly, and pretty much live on sweet potatoes. Not yams. Sweet potatoes. Today was a fairly typical food day. Leftover fried rice and yogurt for breakfast, a couple of over-the-hill bananas for lunch, and half of a giant sweet potato with a whole lot of butter, some maple syrup and a handful of raisins and pecans for dinner/supper/afternoon snack. So filling and, according to those ten-best-foods charts, supremely excellent for one’s health. Although, honestly, I’m getting a little tired of them…just a nice baloney sandwich would be so welcome…except for the meat (even worse, processed meat) and gluten part. Here’s to the Super Foods…the ‘super’ part means they’re to be enhanced by very much butter, cream, syrup or other superior embellishments.
It’s Saturday night and Judy Collins is singing to me…In My Life…Amazing Grace…Send in the Clowns…Both Sides Now, every tune both pleasantly nostalgic and still pertinent. We had a most enjoyable art opening and poetry event at North Fourth last night and some of my best old friends were there. Today I’ve been writing all day, with the occasional dip into a book and food and plant watering. My photos of the people and places ‘in my life’ surround me…I’m very happy.
One of the things that makes me happiest is color and my workplace, the North Fourth Art Center, joyfully reflects that love. While everyone isn’t as enamored of bright, some might say gaudy, hues, fellow staffer Tim is my partner in crime. Together we have re-imagined the Center as a lively background for our artists’ paintings and performances. And simply to pleasure our eyes.
From spring 2013 to spring 2017, this blog served as my almost daily journal. I wasn’t sure I would ever return to it so this spring I turned its four years into a blog book, quickly realizing in the process that Today was an important (to me) record of four years of life as lived by me in Albuquerque, New Mexico with family, friends, work, weather, plants, food and all the rest of that ordinary stuff. Why not continue then? Getting back in the habit of a daily photo and comments/observations/joys/complaints is the hard part. Here goes.
At the North Fourth Art Center where I work, we are all learning to live more responsibly and one way to do that is—composting. Out with my camera (an actual stand-alone camera which doesn’t ring or speak or wake me up) on a walkabout of the parking lot plant life I realized our compost bed was actually quite photogenic.