‘Twas the day after Christmas and I am so happy it’s over.

We had a snowy Christmas evening and drove out to China Rose for an excellent dinner – slipping and sliding all the way in the early evening gently falling snow.  When we left the restaurant, the place was packed!  I had spicy Singapore rice noodles!  Bits of chicken, pork and shrimp.  Traditional Christmas fare.

Santa was good to me.  I got a Bolivian alpaca sweater from the Texas wing of the family.  I got T shirts, fresh booze, the Steve Jobs bio, some sweet goodies and a new toilet seat – one of those that lowers itself slowly without a BANG.  I’m really excited about that.  I just love technology.  I don’t remember being that good a boy last year.  How does that thing go?  You can fool some of the people all of the time but . . . . 

Ah, but I know they are not fooled.  It’s humbling to know that they seem to love me ( read, benevolent tolerance ) in spite of myself.  Looks like that would motivate me toward self betterment.  Looks like it, doesn’t it?

A resolution is crystalizing in my mind as I speak.  I shall seek to be a better person in the new year.  I can’t believe I said that.  I have always avoided New Year’s resolutions.  Notice the absence of specificity.  However, I suppose it couldn’t hurt to cut back on the profanity, and possibly the blue cheese.  Although both seem to be essentially involved in any successful life.
MidCoast Gardens


Well, things in Maine go well. The usual suspects, of course. Cold but no snow. Wind but no rain. Sunshine but no warmth.

When I lived in Corpus Christi, I was fortunate to be able to do a fair amount of sailing. CC Bay is about 12 miles across and more than that long and relatively shallow, which encouraged a brisk chop which was a thrill to play with. Now and then what started out to be a vigorous sail was stricken by the deadly doldrums. Calm. I feel as though I am in such a doldrum period. Nothing seems in sync. There is little movement. This is my personal assessment and not to be considered as applying to everyone here. I am simply not a fanboy of the Christmas season. I play the game well and usually do not cause any interruption in the festivities but deep down I am not a Christmas boy.

Frankly, I think Ruth’s birthday in a couple of days, and all those spaces she once occupied, and the lack of all the visiting family has something to do with how I am feeling about it all. No big mystery there.

Oh, we mounted the Xmas tree today. We mailed off gifts to the lower 47. CA has decorated every available space with some pine cone, pine bough or figurine that yells at the top of it’s voice IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Things will fall into place and we will get passed this season of mythologizing and commercializing and then it will be January which never has disappointed anyone’s image of what a Maine winter should be.

I have friends who flee into the warm folds of Ft. Myers, Boca Grande and Key West about now. I make a lot of fun of them and secretly would love to be able to indulge myself with such sybaritic adventures. I could take the heat. CA could not, of course. But I was born to it.

There is this cute, completely irrelevant, little joke about this little kid sitting on the toilet for a little longer than normal and his mother finally asked him if he was alright. He said he was just fine. Then she noticed that now and then he would bang himself on the top of the head. When his mother asked about it he said that it seemed to work for ketchup fairly well. I’m anxious to see if that works.

What a Christmas gift that would be.

Be well and stay tuned my friends.

The death of Harry Morgan, alias, Col. Potter, and dozens of other characters, leaves a hole of unmeasurable depth in American drama. I never met anyone who didn’t love him. I never met anyone who didn’t desire the qualities he portrayed in that simple character on M*A*S*H. Yes, we will miss him, but, for what it’s worth, there is always syndication.

What’s left to say? A generation is passing off the stage. The list is staggering. So many shoes to fill, or better still, bring on the new shoes. You can read the annual list of the departed and say, “It will never be the same”. Of course, that’s true. But it never has been the same. And there is the issue.

I’ll strive to keep moving in my mourning. Moving is change. No matter how simple the movement, it goes hand in hand with change. We praise those things that do not change: mountains, the rising sun, the stars above. But these days we are told that instruments never before dreamed of now measure the shift in the mountains, our sun and stars. Change is life. Movement, however small, is living. It’s never the same.

Perhaps, therein lies the cure for boredom and sadness. Perhaps therein lies the source of joy.

I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that.

Keep moving, my friends.

This was sent to me by Rolfe, a dear friend over in the Granite State and as he thought it might offer some stimulation to my morning mind, I offer it to you as well in the same or similar hope for  your minds in whatever state they may be.

This evening, the sturdy Levi’s
I wore every day for over a year
& which seemed to the end
in perfect condition,
suddenly tore.
How or why I don’t know,
but there it was: a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racquetball court,
got into his street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed, you who read this,
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart,
& kiss the earth & be joyful,
& make much of your time,
& be kindly to everyone,
even to those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe 
it will happen,
you too will one day be gone,
I, whose Levi’s ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.

~ Steve Kowit ~  

Thank you Rolfe, and Steve for such a pointed reminder of our shared mortality.  What a fine and fragile thread connects us to light, breath and hope.

Nothing is forever.  Not even Levis.

But speaking of Levis and the uncertainty of our earthly experience – – –

I have, only recently, purchased a pair of “real” Levi” jeans.  I wore the LLBean brand for years as an employee, which at $29 were something of a bargain, specially with a 1/3 discount added.  They are good jeans but of a different design and style than that of real Levis.  I mean, similar but not the same, like Pepsi and Coke.  But at the price, who cared?  That deal is still available to me, but because of this afore mentioned uncertainty, I felt I would like to “revert”, for a while, to the jean I grew up with.  If, that is, I could find a pair of Levis that would fit.

Well, One day, while at the Mall, and seeing my 80th birthday approaching soon, and realizing suddenly how I hated the thought of being buried in denim without the Levi patch, I walked straight to the Levi section of Macy’s and found a pair of the jeans I used to wear exclusively that had room for my rather bulging butt and walked out with them under my arm.  

I am, furthermore, running an experiment I read about where this guy advocates not washing Levis.  Wash underwear, wash shirts and socks but not Levis.  He boasted a year in his unwashed Levis and then went into the ocean with them on and is now on his second year.  I intend to wear my Levis until they split at the crotch or elsewhere. 

I am not at all certain about this theory but as long as one can keep from wiping one’s hands on one’s jeans, or spilling motor oil or cheese grits on them it should be possible to make it work.  

Why, one would ask, would one want to do this?  Come on, think about it.  It’s to avoid the stress of the washing and drying process which is arguably the most destructive experience a pair of Levis can endure. Even worse than bull riding.  It’s pure economics.

I am, therefore, into my fourth week of not washing my Levis.  I did wash the jeans before wearing them, which doesn’t count, as anyone would agree.

The next thing is to find another pair perhaps of a different style.  For my first pair, I opted for the relaxed fit.  These are slightly too large, but then I have learned the hard way about buying pants that actually fit, only to find out later that they were too tight, so I tend to err on the loose side of things.  But perhaps a slimmer style would be more, shall we say, enhancing to my back yard barbecue type physique.  I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this may be a completely phantasmagorical expectation.  

But you see, if I had say, two pair of Levis, I can see the possibility of not having to buy pants for, well, lets just say, a very long time.  I could wear one pair while the other pair was sort of airing out, you see.

I’ll keep you posted.  And please – don’t let me catch you staring at my pants.