tangents & minutiae

musings of one who is easily distracted

Category: prompts

NaBloPoMo 22/23: Favorite Things, Thinking of Home

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It wasn’t always. When I was a child, Thanksgiving weekend was reserved as a hunting expedition for my father and brother. They would pack the van and trapse off into the California wilderness in search of quail and pheasant, coming back smelly, unshaven and thoroughly happy with hopefully very few dead birds.

This left my mother and I to our own devices for the holiday and we usually found ourselves at a local coffee shop eating a generic turkey dinner as paper signs advertising milkshakes spun from the ceiling vents. Not a lot of fun, but different from the every day. Typical Los Angeles sunny “autumn” day where the only indication of the holiday was orange paper pumpkins stuck to the windows. We didn’t start having “proper” Thanksgivings until my dad got older and didn’t feel as inclined to camp out in the back of a van for fun. and then my sister and I started taking on the holidays ourselves. I always got Thanksgiving and made the first foray into the dinner that would appear twice before the end of the year, since turkey was for both. We did the big traditional meal and then hang out and play nickel-ante poker, bullshit, and eat pie with my friends who came over later. Everybody adored my dad, and the hours of labor in the kitchen were always entirely worth it because it made him, and all of us, feel happy and loved. Damn, I miss that man.

This all happened under the skies of sourthern California, and while I wasn’t much of an astronomer as a child, I could always fron the constallation Orion in the sky at home. The three stars of Orion‘s belt were what I would pick out immediately when I found it, and I even felt a silly connection to Orion Pictures in the late 70s and 80s. The studio also released the first love story to pierce my heart, A Little Romance, in 1979, when I was in the throes of my own first love.

1. Melancholy memories of sweet childhood kisses from my first boyfriend in 1979

2. The rasp of my daddy’s beard against my cheek when I kissed him hello after a hunting trip, and the feel of his scratchy Pendleton shirt.

3. Warm, salty buttermilk biscuits from a vacuum tube

4. Our working hands around the card table

5. The a table filled with Jewish-Okies laughing under the belt of Orion.


NaBloPoMo 20: Favorite Things

Thanksgiving makes people pensive on the blogs, as I was myself last night. We rasp rhapsodic about all for which was are and should be truly grateful; for our family and friends and for the blessings of some imaginary being who we believe has chosen us as special amongst the throngs of humanity.

My gratitude exudes toward humanity and nature, and to give my fevered neurons a rest for the rest of the week while trying to maintain my daily blogging commitment, I shall be focusing on the things I like best about this life and this world.

1. mute buttons on televisions

2. fountain pens

3. peanut-butter cups

4. ballet

5. cinnamon toast with oodles of butter

6. Paris

7. blank notebooks

8. Tom Ford Violet Blonde perfume

9. pencils

10. coffee

NoPoBloMo 14: Home

My mattress is firm, my bamboo sheets are soft, my room is quiet and I sleep with the man and dog I love.

My clothes and cosmetics, my scarves and shoes are all here.

I can shower in private, using my posh beauty products that I spend too much money on.

My dog is here shedding on everything.

I have all my pens, pencils and notebooks. Books to read and movies to watch.

It’s not being back to my whole life, but it’s a start.

NaBloPoMo 4: My Secret Historical Boyfriend

Abraham Lincoln is pretty dreamy, but my man invented the post office, fire department, published the Poor Richard’s Almanac, edited the Declaration of Independence, served as Ambassador to France, signed all four founding documents of the United States, supported the abolition of slavery and started the first lending library.

For me, the library was the most important contribution that Franklin made to the concept of the United States. He was born into the artisan class and given limited schooling, but educated himself by reading books. His subscription library required contributions form all the members to buy the books they all shared, but the idea that books shouldn’t only be available to the wealthy who could afford to buy them is the germ that lead to our government and community supported libraries. Anyone can walk in, pull a book off the shelf and sit down to read. If you want to take the book home, you just have to prove that you live in the community to get a library card.

Some years back I was talking to my sister and she mentioned that the Los Angeles Public Library was shutting down local branches and consolidating their collections at the central library downtown. This meant that there were much fewer books available on the shelves and almost everything had to be ordered from the central branch through inter-library loan. Not only that, but the library was considering charging a $1.00 fee per book! Some people were actually in favor of the fee, but to me it flew directly in the face Benjamin’s original intention. I imagined some homeless little kid working on a class project after school and not being able to get the books she needs for want of a stupid fee.

But that’s why Benjamin Franklin is my secret historical boyfriend. Do you have one?