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Otium cum Dignitatae

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Excluded Middle

New year, everyone: let's get to it. Baby 2007 (an awkward name, but it beats the one his mother wanted: Brock Hambly) is still having the amniotic fluid siphoned from its ('his'? Do years have gender? We know that they can be animals) various ora, and already the great work continues. And yes: I mean bloggin'.

The Erudite Redneck reminds us that this day is given over to the eating of blackeyed peas, if you call The South home. When I was dating Gringa Alta Segunda, a South Carolingian by extraction, she told me that the blackeyes are for good luck in general, and the collard greens you're supposed to eat with them are for good money luck, specifically. That was Baby 2004, the year I went to work on New Year's Day and was fired, after working a hellish breakfast shift. Four months later, lost the girl, too, so those damn peas and foul greens that I don't like also don't work, or maybe I'm just not From The South enough. I don't know.

Th' Honeybee holds that this day is sacred to the steak, which I can always get behind as a food option. I assume this is because she's a Chicagoan by extraction: Butchershop to the World, or whatever the damned Carl Sandburg called it.
In 'An Afterward to Trout Fishing In America', Richard Brautigan sternly admonishes Mr. Sandburg:
Cats walk on little cat feet
and fogs walk on little fog feet,
Carl.

Good point. He was always a stringent realist, that Dick Braut.
(Exercise: go through the proper names used in this posting and put 'Teen Prostitute' after them. I think you'll be happily surprised at the result.)

I myself am eating of the Finn bread my mother gave me, with a little butter and sugar. The Finns call it pulle, and the Swedes call it bulle. I don't know if the Norse have this one, but they probably do: everyone seems to have an egg bread. De Jeeeeews call theirs challah, and it's eggier. The Greeks put slivered almonds on theirs.
Finns, reflecting their long, proud culinary traditions, put cardamom in it and dump a bunch of sugary coffee all over it before baking. I was stunned, the other day, to note that there was a 'Finnish Cuisine' section in the bookstore. Even more stunned to note that there was more than one book. I was sort of expecting them all to have one page that pretty much says, Marinate the hell out of stinky whitefish, and you can never go wrong with a good cup of coffee.

I'm reading The New Yorker this morning, and there's this story about Walt Disney that's pretty interesting. Until I hit 'Meet Me In St. Louis', I was pretty against the whole Disney franchise. I sort of see them as Nazi Dicks, and even as a kid, they creeped me out. I've often maintained that this is how to delineate American households, as regards the entertainment: I'm a Warner Brothers kid; get that fucking rat out of here. Give me a wise-cracking rabbit any day.
You know? And for that matter, what is the necessary Excluded Middle choice here? The Dodge to Disney and Warners' Ford and Chevy? The RC to their Coke and Pepsi? The Winston to their Marlboro and Camel? The CBS to their ABC and NBC? The 'maybe' to their 'Yes' or 'No'? The 'sorta' to their 'definitely' and 'certainly not'? (Stop it.)
Anyway, I've never figured that one out, but about the almost religious (and certainly subliminal) love of products: in my own personal cosmology, Marlboro is a redneck cigarette, while Camel is for hippies. Coke is for right-wing bastards, the more easygoing (and sweeter) Pepsi has its own generation that keeps updating itself every decade, to stay with the times.
Ford is The North, and Chevy is The South. (I've actually seen that one come to blows amongst friends. Also, I really pissed off this guy from Georgia by not liking Coke. I said that this was a pointless debate, and he agreed, saying, "It is pointless, because there's no denying that Coke is the best product ever made.") ABC is childish bullshit, CBS has the biggest staff of censors working in the Big Three, and NBC is for grownups.

So there. The other problem I keep having with the Disney story is that my mind keeps transposing references to Mickey Mouse as 'Mickey Rourke'. It's disturbing.

We threw the dirt on the grave of The Rest and Relaxation last evening. I did so by getting drunker in a way that not only have I never been, but I'm pretty damn sure that No One has ever been. It was so drunk in there (excuse me: crowded) that walking was pretty much out, and-say: don't you hate it when you are forced to write in boldface by weird software associated with a certain nationally-famous website in which the likes of Rosie O'Donnell once blogged?
Anyway: my favorite bar has closed, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Not having a clubhouse all of my own where they routinely give me free booze just for being so charming and wonderful would improve my health and vitality. I am not, in short, looking for a new favorite bar: with my lady on my arm, in any case, they all are.

I'd go on and on about how much I like the Honeybee, but if you know me you've already heard it, and if you don't know me you don't care, so let's just leave it at this: her hatred of Mitch Albom is hilarious and endearing as hell. It enters discussions you never would envision, and is always delightful to encounter.
What else? Uh, 'publish'. And: Happy Brock Hambly, everyone!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Happy new year, rich!

7:46 PM  
Blogger disco boy said...

well, i found the day to be sacred to the steak, specifically the chicken-fried variety. and it was tasty, about the size of the sole of your boot, but not nearly at chewy. you just can't knock the good ladies (and the chubby-chasers that love them) at the otis cafe. it filled me long beyond the brink, and girly-girl drove home from the coast as a clutched my belly and whined and cried and finally, fell asleep.

i did my new years al-kee-hol free this year, but not for some high and mighty reason, it just didn't sound appealing to me, and with no one else around to raise a glass with, i let it slide. i did smoke a blunt as big as a drumstick, but that too failed to impress me, and so i paid attention to the girly-girl, and went to bed early. that too, was pleasant.

happy new year to you, the family, and the extended family. good things.., very good things must be in store for brock handley.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Who, Me? said...

Happy New Year RB!!!

11:19 PM  

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