Cloister Commentary, Day 238: Talk About a Dream, Try to Make It Real

Physical labor? What is that? I was reintroduced to the concept yesterday as I cleaned up our front-yard landscaping (sedum, daisies, knockout roses, quince, catmint, and one other bit I can never remember) for winter in the afternoon. I was gonna just do half and let Nicole (who was working virtually) do the rest, but the new Aesop Rock album and some nicely remastered early Louis Armstrong pushed me on through. This morning, I can feel that not all of my musculature has atrophied.

Is it just me or did I feel some serious anxiety lift? I heard news from the courts and from the state of Georgia that made me snicker some away.

In the evening we completed Springsteen on Broadway (Nicole: “What a decent man!” Indeed.), which inspired us to watch Gurinder Chadha’s sweet, uplifting and quite powerful film Blinded by the Light, based on the true story of an aspiring teenage writer, a Pakistani living in Luton, England, whose life is changed when a Sikh friend loans him some Springsteen tapes. Many of the best sequences revolve around the character singing and quoting lines from classic Bruce tunes, which reminded me that, just like him, I had those early albums’ lyrics memorized within days of buying the records (and still do). We’ll probably be listening to those and watching videos for the next two days.

Streaming for Strivers:

Raise up off this pianist.

Cloister Commentary, Day 109: Strode Rode

Dropping off some checks for our fundraiser for the late George Frissell at Hickman High School, I had a delightful conversation with the school’s long-time administrative assistant Sharon Dothage–actually, she runs the school. We got caught up on gossip, the future, Hickman history–and I found out she was once a Stephens Star! I also chatted with financial secretary Heather Croy, who put my mind at ease about several nerve-wracking fundraising concerns. AND I logged a Dr. Andrew McCarthy sighting. AND I was excited to learn my good friend and former colleague Leia Brooks is moving into a) the ol’ Frissellian lair on the second floor, and b) a new home on the north side, with her boyfriend. AND I previewed for all the new city mask ordinance (better late than never).

I came home from that jaunt to discover that our long-time pal and stalwart Seattleian Beth Hartman had sent us a care package that included pickled Brussels sprouts (once branded by John Waters “those little balls of hell”). She wisely intuited that I would enjoy such an oddity, and I did, though I did not make a dirty martini with them as threatened. My brother Brian sent me a Bluetooth mic that I can’t wait to use but need to figure out how.

Accomplished: the Chevy Silverado Dad left behind and Mom and Brian gifted me is now officially mine. Next up: accidental death insurance labyrinth, and getting my old Ford into the Wright hands.

I am sick to death of gun violence.

Speaking of Fords, Nicole and I chillaxed and watched the first half of John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

A truly great film with serious star power but also entertaining support from crafty veterans like Woody Strode, Andy Devine, and Edmond O’Brien (all of whom made me think of my friend Rex Harris, who appreciates such memorable characters). Our fatigued bodies and minds forced us to our pillows at 9 pm.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

Testifying tunes from a West Coast pianistic prince.