Cloister Commentary, Day 111: More Lasagna

As a citizen trying to stay healthy and wanting others to as well, as a teacher and voter looking ahead to August and November, as a student who truly believes that education is the key to law and order, as a human striving to act justly and compassionately, as a survivor grieving and a friend pining, I cannot describe my contempt for our “leadership.” And I cannot believe I am alone in that.

Ok, so I got that off my chest. I suppose it was inspired by yet another threat lobbed yesterday, or was it the day before, from the very White House. But I have bigger and better things to think and worry about than bullies. Like fighting to keep the losses of my best friend and my dad from melding. They happened so suddenly and so closely together that some of the details (like correspondences) are blurring and even my processing frequently feels mixed up.

It’s a weird metaphor, but I keep coming back to it: lasagna. Layers of dread. Except lasagna is also delicious and this time is the opposite.

I graded some papers. They’re analytical essay rough drafts: the subjects of the three I made it through were Halsey, Inside Out, and Chanel–at least the topics are interesting. But three wore me out and I quit and took a nap.

Drove to Moser’s to look at the state of their recycling bins and decided to move that task to another day.

Nicole’s latest round of limoncello “matured,” so we enjoyed a couple tiny glasses of that delicious elixir. She crafted it cream-style this time, my favorite.

Finished up The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Ford presents a political and historical vision that’s complicated, to say the least, but the performances are great and its best moments are inspiring. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”? That quote’s taken on new, troublesome weight. As the credits rolled, I found myself thinking about statues, and the fact that before our eyes we’re seeing legends subjected to a bigger mass of critical thinking than ever before. Some may cry bloody murder–and often that was on such legends’ hands–but that critical thinking is good.

Streaming for Strivers:

Bit of a lost album from a terrific but somewhat underappreciated soul man.

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.