Cloister Commentary, Day 209: Dignified and Old

Got both my flu and shingles shots yesterday at the pharmacy. The administering official was a 1992 Hickman graduate and his mom once that school’s nurse, so he had much material to distract me with. Seriously, I don’t mind shots–but I will testify that the shingles stick leaves one a little sore (and it’s one of two). I guess that shot certified me as an elderly man; fortunately for me, I’d listened to the Modern Lovers’ song “Dignified and Old” early this week, which prepared me to happily and proudly accept that mantle. Some key lyrics, perhaps?

“Well my friends say that I deceive myself
And that I contradict myself
And I can’t say if they’re right
But I’m not ashamed
Oh I can take a challenge
And so I won’t die
Someday I’ll be dignified and old
I know it
And I say hey kids
(Hey kids)
I said hey kids
(Hey kids)
I say someday we’ll be dignified and old….”

Written by Jonathan Richman, a true original.

Also of note: Nicole and I finally sat down to watch the VHS of Sammy & Rosie Get Laid (directed by Stephen Frears; written by Hanif Kureishi) I purchased a few months ago, and it was well worth the $30 it cost me! In fact, given some of the striking scenes and images and especially the related political content, I think we now know why the film hasn’t made the leap to DVD/BluRay/streaming. Really? Something like that could still resign a film to the “where is it now?” pile? Yes. So what, Phil, is this that you’re speaking of? Reader, you’re on your own.

Woke up at 1 a.m. with heart pounding, thinking that the probable demise of our outdoor cat Scrappers might have actually been a conspiracy. I’m not kidding. Clearly, I need to get better rest.

Streaming for Strivers:

A wizard, a true star.

Cloister Commentary, Day 35:

In search of projects: Our vacuum cleaner needed some serious cleaning. After we got a hold of a new filter, I took the dust-crusted detachable parts into the shower with me yesterday morning and soaped and rinsed them out. That isn’t weird, is it? Oh, by the way, we aren’t taking pioneer baths anymore, as we finally got ahold of a sturdy new shower hose.

Self-promotion department: the lovely and peculiar Greg Grupe contacted me and about 2,778 other Hickman High School retirees to suggest we inform each other about how we’re dealing with this mess. Guess who just happens to have some blog posts at his fingertips? #clickgrubber

Landscaping discovery: they do not call it catmint for nothing. A pregnant neighborhood stray kitten is basically living in ours, flattening it out for a bed, so we have TWO new problems to solve now.

Fun music moment: Ben Shelton, a Hickman grad whom I unfortunately never got to teach, buzzes in to my wall to touch base about music once every 4-5 months, and his interests are always interesting (you can’t say that about everyone). He has extremely astute tastes in jazz, and I was delighted when he posted the always-exciting question, “Have you heard of this guy?” and the guy was the Brazilian wizard Hermeto Pascoal! My answer was, “I’m a BIG fan!” but I only am because another friend, Robert Wingfield of New Orleans, asked me the same question and my answer was “Uh, no.” Hear what the fuss is about below.

Making contact: I chatted with my Springfield brother Mike Rayhill on the phone. We both graduated high school in 1980 and from the former SMSU in 1984, both hail from similar Missouri locales (I’m from Carthage, he’s from Camdenton), share a lot of the same perspectives, didn’t kill each other when we shared a rental house for three years, I roadied a little and played the Reuben Kincaid role for a few of his bands, and did I mention we rock and roll? I hate talking on the phone, but Mike’s calls I always look forward to. I was thrilled to learn that his stellar, skilled, and sharp son, an otherwise unfortunate member of the senior class of 2020, may well be attending Mizzou, where I can serve as his mentor if he needs one! (Look out, kid!)

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

The name is Hermeto. Miles knew.