Saturday, December 30, 2006

Back from some very mellow holidays! My lovely sister cooked up a fantastic Christmas Eve dinner AND made us two beautiful scarves, Trevor and I took a glorious 4.5 mile Christmas hike around Pinecrest Lake in the snow, we were given gift certificates to our two favorite restaurants in the county seat (which we promptly used -- yay for butter and burgers), we got to hang with Mr. Roberson and his beard of legend, and Trevor's hometown done got itself a new stoplight (its first!), I'll tell you what.

Oooh, also got a chance to pore through the thousands of records my man's mom's ex has been collecting over the decades and made a killing. Picked up some excellent jazz and bossa nova records on Verve and Riverside, some of which we kept (Mingus, Getz, Quincy Jones, among others) and some of which we sold today (Righteous Brothers, Count Basie, Sammy Davis Jr. etc. etc.). Got some fun records in the mix too. Best one is a late 50s/early 60s recording of "Sports Cars in Hi-Fi." It's recordings of Porsches, Jags, Maseratis, Ferraris, and the like "at rest" and "at speed." It's boss, Daddy-O.

So, all in all, the trip was quite relaxing, except for my trip for my mother to a place so evil I can only type its name backwards and in a whisper...traM-laW. DUN-DUN-DUN-DUUUUUNNNNN.

Gah, sometimes I think I'm too serious, and just some snobby socialist for hating the Wal, but then I visit it, and I realize, nope, even if it wasn't a den of sweatshop suffering patrolled by many of America's working poor and catering to America's gaping greedy maw, it would STILL be a hellmouth of ick, like a Katamari Damacy consisting of Toby Keith and Kathie Lee, censorship and consumerism, plastic and flourescence, corn-syrup and trans fat. But, since it is actually all of those things AND the aforementioned den of suffering, and a community killer t'boot, it comfortably sails right past a tidy hellmouth moniker to rival the bowels of hell itself. Don't get me wrong, I am often amazed, seduced even, at how unbelievably cheap everything is there. But is it really worth it? Cheap, at what cost?

Shinily tangential, yet oh so related in a maze-like way that may be known only to me and my crazy mind (there are two of us, you know), I've been thinking a lot about a story my dad told me. A few months ago, he went out into the backyard and saw what he thought was a dead fawn with its legs sticking up stiff. Upon closer inspection he realized it was a live fawn with one leg caught in the remnants of a wire fence he had put up around his compost pile. As he approached, the fawn struggled and the fence began tearing the skin from the fawn's leg, so my dad asked my mom to come outside to possibly hold the fawn so it wouldn't struggle while my dad cut the wire to let it loose.

So, as my dad came closer to the fawn again, it began struggling once more. My father spoke softly, and as he reached out to stroke and calm it, it let out a blood-curdling scream. The fawn's scream echoed in the silence of my parents' property, ringing in my parents' ears. My mother said it was unlike anything she had ever heard before. But scream accomplished, the fawn then collapsed into a heap, unmoving, and without another sound. Defeated, and ready for death. My father didn't even hold it as he cut the wires away. As soon as it was free, however, off it bounded. The next day it came back with its mother, and my father saw them happily back to business as usual, eating apples that had fallen from his tree.

It got me thinking about predators, and prey -- the order of the universe, and how these things come about. The roles that are assigned by Nature, and enforced by instinct, and in some higher level animals, immediately shaped by environment (and how consistent environment shapes and reshapes norms for any animal over time). What are we in for?

In that vein, now playing: Nina Simone, The Best of Nina Simone -- 'Pirate Jenny'

But hey, love this quote I read today in National Geographic: If you worry, you die. If you don't worry, you die. Why worry?

In that vein, now reading: Jeanette Winterson, Weight

Atlas knows how it feels to carry the weight of the world; but why, he asks himself, does it have to be carried at all?


Blogger knaakwood said...

Sonora.. what a place. As for the Wal- I suppose the presence of a gathering spot for the poor and meek of earth, where they can see each other face-to-face is a way of fostering community socialization.
In Oak Hill West Virginia Wal-Mart was THE place to be seen.

I hate to admit, but I almost like Costco for it's vast cement streets where I zoom along on the shopping cart like a box store cowboy. Or a five year old. Not to mention the three pound Italian sausage we bought for 10 bucks. Mmmm.

Pinecrest. wow. Sonora Pass, Sierra Nevada High Country..
I have to spend some time there again before I grow overly flaccid of body.

January 1, 2007 at 8:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger stardust_savant said...

Tuolumne City sounds a lot like my little Hastings. Except that Hastings was incorporated because the founder was a Flagler and had almost as much money as God.

January 2, 2007 at 9:21:00 AM PST  

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