Sunday, September 06, 2015

Labor Pains

As Labor Day signals the end of another summer, it's time to sit back and reflect on the season gone by.

Well, that was quick.

The record heat has lost caused this time of year to lose me as a fan. I don't do extremes very well any longer. Maybe I should move into a nice temperature-controlled mall. On the other hand, life was certainly a lot easier with the miracle of air-conditioning. (You can blame me personally for destroying the planet, greenies) We've lived in a rented townhouse for the past nine years, originally through a property management group. When we moved in, we were informed there was no central air. Fine and dandy, we thought. We had already lived in an apartment w/o said amenity, making do with ceiling fans. This place had no such appliance in any room. My son Matt graciously donated his two box fans that we placed strategically in the house. We made due with what we had. Besides, this is Oregon. It never gets above 90 for very long. Who needs anything else? It's like umbrellas here. They're for rain-sensitive pussies. Cut to: Lat Year at this time. The townhouse owners decided to wisely show the property management group to the curb due to their gross incompetence (Their name is The Alpine Group, by the way. If you're in the market for a new abode, steer clear of these maroons.) The owners took over the lease and after our initial meeting, they inquired as to how the place was holding up. For example:

"How's the air conditioning working?" they asked.

"We don't have air conditioning," we scoffed.

"You'd better have air conditioning. We paid for it."

The owner walked over to the thermostat and flipped the switch. For the first time in eight years in this home, we had air conditioning.

Egg on the face would have been worse in the heat.

I didn't attend one movie this summer, the first time in forever. There was nothing I felt compelled to run out to the cinema that I couldn't wait for at home. Isn't that a sad state of affairs? Even worse was another fatal shooting in Louisiana, echoing the psychotic Colorado rampage that finally made its way through the courts. On top of that, when I do finally visit a local cinema, it will a solo affair as per my usual. I allowed a nitwitted Facebook posting to take me aback, proclaiming that "There a guy sitting behind us in the theater...AND HE'S ALL BY HIMSELF! OMG! I CAN'T RELAX AND ENJOY THE MOVIE! WHAT IF HE...???". 
I don't know. Told you to put your fucking phone away during the movie, you dumb-ass doorknob? But that's not what kept me out of the theaters this summer. Product and product alone. Sequels, remakes and bland blah blah blah.

Naturally, that other thing didn't help matters any. Paranoia, justified or not, can't help but creep into what used to be considered our general well-being. Profiling can't be avoided when the guilty parties fir the same demographic.But those that don't are seen as predatory time-bombs, ready to snatch your kids and/or waste everyone with the same vigor as aggressively taking out the garbage.

So no film outings for me this summer, but I wasn't a complete shut-in.

Fortunately I managed to see Grant-Lee Phillips this last May in concert at the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, performing with Steve Holtz, a fine singer/songwriter in his right. After yet another amazing set by this artist I'm proud to call my friend, I had an all-too brief but still gratifying reunion with Grant. He gave me a copy of his 2012 album WALKING IN THE GREEN CORN, another sensational solo work that I highly recommend, containing one of his most beautiful compositions, "Bound to this World". Yeah, I'm three years late to this party. What else is new? Besides, is there an expiration date on art?


In the meantime, the world continues to back up my proclamation that 2015 is the Year of the Sap. Need I really mention Trump? I think not. How about the other occupants of the clown car known as the Republican presidential contenders? Hillary ain't looking so good, but I don't think she ever did. Christ, will she win by default? Bernie Sanders is this election's Dennis Kucinich and Dopey Joe...oh, say it isn't so. It looks like I am probably sitting this election out and will be proud to admit it. Add this to the ongoing shit storm of cop killings, black people killings, religious crackheads, sandwich pedophiles, moralistic hackers, transcendental transgenders...it all makes me want to yell "Uncle!" 

But I won't, Not just yet. There's a balance in my world at least.

I haven't mentioned the stage productions of my melodramas because I have done so ad nauseam. I'll only add that it was indeed a swell season professionally and it's even sweller to able to say those words. (See previous post- A MELO SUMMER)

The BIG event of the summer was the visitation of family members far and wide when I got immersed in major grandpa love from my three grandchillun. That's the icing on the cake known as Summer 2015 and my life in general. It's a well-worn cliche to say that one most focus on us on what is best in life. No, Conan, it's not to crush your enemies, see them drive before you and to hear the lamentations of their women. Those are pretty sweet, but at this point in my time here on Earth, I take solace in this:. I have a great family and feel blessed to be a part of it. They manage to center this oft-kilter life of mine and the time in which I exist. Things could always be better until I am in their embrace. Then I realize that this is the best of all possible worlds. Everything else can take a powder.

So long, Summer
Bring on the Fall.

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