Nothing about that today.

It's necessary to step away and put your mind on something else, because otherwise that's all there is, and you go nuts with conjecture, regrets, grief, and the rest of the emotions that take over the way you operate. Can't live like that. Did good things today; it was nice out. Made some dog signs. (okay, thought about it, sure, and only checked the found-dog sites on the hour instead of quarter-hourly.) Went back-to-school shopping with Daughter, and didn't even think "this is the last time." It was. But I was just enjoying our time, and talking about other things. Somehow we got on the subject of the Titanic, again.

Sometimes Daughter is up for the Fantastic Dad Lecture Experience, and sometimes not. I have a tendency to narrate everything when driving along, unless there’s some conversation happening; that’s usually the case, but if not, I like to point out things and get her take.

Poor kid, I know. Most of the time she’s game. A few weeks ago she said I was giving a lecture about things and she had no responses, I mean, yes, the sculpture is based on the symbol on the back of the dollar bill I get it I’m not stupid.

Can't blame her; if I wasn’t in the mood for someone cheerfully prattling on about sculpture while waiting for the light to change, I’d want to bark ENOUGH too. It’s just that (the weaselly, self-justifying line) I can’t help tell everything I have learned about things, if there’s nothing else going on. What else would I do with that information? It’s not like I have a column or blog or podcast or anything.

So I picked her up from the coffee shop on the way back from work, and we did a little detour. She had been interested in this building:



It had faded signs. It sat on a broad street whose asphalt had deteriorated, leaving cobblestones. It faced the Alien Cruise Ship of the Stadium, looming close. I explained what this neighborhood had been, how the freeway had sliced through and cut it off, how it sank into barren decay for decades until it had sprung back the last ten years. So we went over to Cedar Avenue, the West Bank, and I showed her how the streets once connected with downtown, how the old commercial buildings that looked marooned and alone were part of a shopping district. And then, for fun, how I lived there, and how I had a girlfriend in that building, which was in the Mary Tyler Moore show, and now it’s all Somali.

She found this interesting, or at least was humoring me.

We went to Dense Vibrant Urban Lunds, a small pocket version of the grocery store tucked in the Cobalt building in the North Hennepin district. I thought she’d like it because it was, well, dense and urban. She recognized a bottle of Elderberry soda she’d seen in Suffolk, and hadn’t seen since; I bought it for her. We stood on the parking ramp and looked around at the old and the new . . .




. . . and I said you’re always haunted by the number of stories that have lived behind all these windows, and she said there was a word for that. It might be made up. It sounded German. Sadness over the realization you will never know the lives of others, something like that. There should be a word for it.

Then we drove home, and I flicked through the radio channels. Went to the 60s on 6, and there was Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy.” Breathy vocals and oboes. She said it sounded like the music they’d play in a movie about the Manson family as they did something horrible, for ironic effect, and said that everyone in that period sounded the same. I knew what she meant - there are fashions in vocals in pop music. I remember sitting in a friend’s apartment, listening to Simple Minds, noting that singer wanted to sound like Morrison, and he said “everyone wants to sound like Morrison now.” And they did. And then they didn’t. Everyone was Elvis for a while. Everyone now is fried and monotone and autotuned and wet.

Changed to the 50s channel, and here the fun began. I’m not a big fan of 50s music, but now and then I enjoy it, and the station played a great run. Jim Dandy to the Rescue, followed by Connie Stevens (16 reasons) all breathy and virginal and auditioning for a David Lynch scene, a motorcycle death-story parody song - Black Denim Trousers, 1955, The Cheers, arranged by Les Baxter - and "Little Darling.” Each one different, each a testament to the diversity of the culture and the different threads that made up the popular song.

When we got home she stopped and said “what’s the one - bedoo-de-wop bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bedoo-de-wop.”

“I know that song! But I can't name it. bedoo-de-wop really quickly.”

And thus ended the lesson, such as it was. It was just a joy to drive around on a summer afternoon and listen to music, only occasionally talking about the orchestration or the amusing aspects of the vocalist. It wasn’t the Great Summer Driving Moment, though. I usually have one or three a year - the time when the road, the temp, the time of day, the velocity, the speed, and the song combine to provide great transcendent joy. That happened two Thursdays ago, because I found a new song from a band I followed since the days I lived in the concrete tower I showed Daughter. For all intensive purposes (kidding! jeez) OMD has taken over for Kraftwerk, and they’re shameless about the homage.

It’s the broad, sweeping joyous optimism of the simple clean theme at :54 that makes a certain number of people of a certain age just . . . grateful. The video’s interesting too, if you want sit in front of your computer and watch it unroll for 4:28, which I did.

That was the last time I felt unburdened.



Items recently noted at my favorite art museum - er, antique store.

Someone had a bad stomach and a hoarding problem. Why would there be 15 of these things?




Some of the things they carry are a complete mystery. Heavy old masonry blade:




Don't worry; I will not hit 4355 RPMs. I'll keep it right at 4365.




No more serials for a while - just some light entertainment from the world of Drive-In pre-show rolls.

You can tell he's an artist. He has a beret.


You can tell it's the sixties by the jazzy music and sound FX dumped in like rocks dropped in a shallow birdbath.

That'll do; see you around. BTW: the thing about not knowing that E. B. King's guitar is Maybelline: THAT'S THE JOKE. Sort of.

Some logos below, including my old hometown favorite advertised by the Standard NoDak Farmer - who's feeling his oats this week.


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