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Shabbat dawns cool and crisp at 40° now that one band of December rains have passed. But another is tracking in tomorrow Praise music plays on the puck, and a joyful budgie greets the day with me. The new kitchen island is installed and we are getting used to a big chunk of cabinetry sitting in the middle of a once vast sea of linoleum. But I am the sort that needs four pots, two skillets and seven bowls to fry an egg, and the added counter top will be a welcome addition.
Not much on the newsfeeds. Mostly hyperventilating of impeachment proceedings and righteous huffery and puffery on the shutdown. I don’t care enough to carefully read what the details are. I am making a concerted effort to stay below the governments radar, much the same way common people ages ago treated a tyrannical King. Hide the harvest and the women and say nothing.
I am excited about getting a sous vide heater for slow cooking, along with a induction cook top for frying. I can hardly wait to try them out. But this morning I will go about brunch preparations the old way. Thaw a couple of cups of frozen hash-browns, fry ‘em up with some onions, fry up some turkey sausage, and fry up a couple of runny eggs.
But I have a little time to sit and write, and let the inspirational music suffuse my soul.
For those of you who don’t know, Rusty Armor is a nom-de-plume, a stage name, and a name that hides a huge gap in my life that I don’t talk about much. Rusty Armor was a name I began using in the late 80’s, early 90’s to give me a little cover when I wrote of some living people I had met during my running years. Some of those people are still living, though I suspect someone is changing their nappies at Sunny Hill Nursing Home right now.
Yeah, I really was a movie actor. Not a well-known one, however. But I have had a few speaking parts in films that I am sure many of you have at least heard about, if not actually seen. But I despised Hollywood, and most of the actors I met. I even despised my own talent, both at acting, and getting acting jobs. Getting a job in films for me was a lot like working for Rent-A-Bum, except the pay was a lot better and they usually fed you on the set. You sat around in the shade a lot, too. It sure as hell beat unloading boxcars.
But I did a lot of other things during that hole in my life. Fleeing after a disastrous marriage breakup, I just drifted … it was a real fast drift, however. I lived in the desert with a Yaqui brujo, drilled oil in Wyoming, work carnival flat joints and rides, picked peaches in California, narrowly escaping a serial killer that ran crews while there, bartended in Reno and hopped freight trains to get around.
I ended back in New Mexico, lived on a commune, met some of the Manson family, hung with a few well known writers, a very famous poet and musician and some assorted writers, but finally ended up in the third floor of a run down home haven for homeless men one mean February in Denver. I don’t even know how I got there. My life changed at that point, and that is another tale, one without so damned many secrets.
I was going to try and flesh out that time before here, but once again, there are too many things that I just don’t want to reveal, and I don’t want to spend the time working around them without leaving questions.
But for those who think that I am just some old burned out Texan, I hate to destroy that illusion. I kinda like that image, though it is a bullshit one.
And once again, I am not able to utter the unutterable.
Yes, you may wish me Merry Christmas.
And I will return the heartfelt greeting along with a silent blessing.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָה, יְיָ, שׁוֹמֵר אֶת-כָּל-אֹהֲבָיו
Friday, preparation day rolls around again. It seems like it was just here a couple of days ago. The blue norther pulled out last night, and it is 53° this morning. It will get into the low 70’s for Shabbat. Maybe I can get a little porch sitting in.
One of the rabbi’s at my old congregation in Denver has passed on, and they are holding a memorial for him this week. I wish I could attend, but my wanderin’ days are over. 20 miles is my absolute maximum trip these days.
It looks like a late breakfast today, more of a lunchfast than a brunch. But a handful of cookies and a dog to share them with takes care of the hole in the belly.
And the newsfeeds. Congress can’t balance a budget, but can pass a continuing resolution. If I could enact one amendment, it would be that a Congress that doesn’t balance a budget must be fired Jan. 1st. A convict who killed his pregnant wife and children gets love letters and nude photo’s from admiring women. I am not going to comment on this one. And Hershey’s™ Kisses lose their tip, and an investigation is launched to figure out why. Maybe this feckless Congress can investigate it.
So goes the day.
Oddly today I searched for a name on facebook that I hadn’t heard from in nearly half a century. Bill Pearce, a radio broadcaster who aired a nightly program called Night Sounds. He played music, some that he accompanied on trombone, and others that he just liked. With a rich bass voice, he would talk to his audience as if they were mature adults and not beginning believers.
My beginning years were more like the before picture than the after picture. I struggled mightily to be good, but truthfully, there wasn’t much goodness or kindness in me at that point. I was in pure survival mode, and some of the simplest elements of day to day living always seemed to lay light years beyond my grasp.
From then until now, mentors have arisen just when I needed them to guide me until I regained solid ground. Many of them were not what you would call mentor material. One was an advertising executive that chucked it all to become a subsistence level farmer. Another was an ex football jock that took one too many hits to the head, and spent his life staying just ahead of the law with his schemes to get rich. Another was a big uneducated Irish drunk who drove a cab. Another was an ex campus radical from the free speech movement. And the last one was a genuine rocket scientist and an elder in a congregation.
Today I function without that level of day to day guidance. I can deal with bureaucrats, barely. I can sit through a crisis. I can guide others in the same way I was guided.
But this one really brought it back home. Yeah. I have come a long way from those dismal days. There are a few people who even like me.
But it was Bill Pearce who taught me that you didn’t need to cite chapter and verse when you are citing scripture. Most believers have read those words, and while they may not be able to exactly pin point them, they have heard them. To this day, I refuse to memorize the verse numbers or even books. It isn’t necessary to someone who had read scriptures, and it is unnecessary to someone who hasn’t. The only ones it tickles the ears of are researchers and people wishing to show off their knowledge.
I like researchers, but the show offs, not so much.
So if you wish to converse with me on scripture, it is sufficient to say “It is written”. Unless you really don’t care if I hear what you got to say, anyway.
Here was my comment on the Night Sounds page. They are still broadcasting! Here is the link.
It was a bitter February night in Denver in 1975. A newly minted believer sat on the edge of his bed in a drab apartment seriously considering suicide. Very seriously considering it.
For some unknown reason, he reached over and switched on his only real possession, an Emerson clock-radio with a mechanical/digital clock.
It was tuned to an easy listening station, and I reached over to switch to another station, but a deep male voice came from the speaker saying “If you are thinking about suicide, don’t turn the radio off.”
I almost leaped out of my skin!
That voice belonged to Bill Pearce, and he loved trombones, as I recall. His words were not condemning, nor did he talk down to me. Night after night, I arose at 1am to listen to him, and he guided me through the emptiest period of my life, and introduced me to my savior in a real way.
I don’t know what it was that made me look him up on facebook this day. I am saddened to know he is no longer here. But such is life, and he lives on courtesy of the internet.
Thank you for maintaining this page.
Sunday mornin’, comin’ down.
Well, that header is a bit over dramatic. I got off lightly for making a pig out of myself with the lasagna last night. I only had to sit up once in the middle of the night to let the pain of indulgence subside. I knew when I got that second helping I was going to suffer. It was worth it, though.
So here it is, 9:15 am. Shortly it will be time to fix the Sunday waffles. I have read the newsfeeds and now know that the FBI had a ‘oops’ moment with the Strzok /Page texts and accidentally deleted them. And yeah, I believe ‘em. I shor ‘nuff do. An accident if I ever saw one. Uh huh. Accident.
The view out the window is sunshiny, but the temps are still in the 40’s in this land where one day it is gulf coast balmy and the next day the Alberta Express roars through. Old timers call them blue northers where only a bobwire* fence stands between us and the North Pole.
We got our bug killing freeze finally, and the pollen count will go down for a month or so until cedar flu season. I practically live on cassock pollen filters in the bedroom and studio, just venturing out of those safe zones for meals and bringing in groceries.
So this first day of the week starts. Coffee, chirping budgies, happy mutts (whats with mutts and morning, anyway?) and waffles.
* Down here, it is bobwire, not barbed wire …
So sunrise came in through the bedroom window since the sun rises more southerly in wintertime. And first light is about ten minutes of 7:00. And Jenna and Tic had their morning game of tag at first light. Mr. Bladder, after having been emptied at 5 am, quickly refilled himself though I had returned to bed for a long winter’s nap. And Mr. Automatic Thermostat turned up the heat so that Snookums didn’t have to rise to a cold house. OK … I am awake and up. But nowhere is it written that I must like it.
But the coffee was ready, and a favorite cup was in the cupboard. I can manage that. Fill the cup, pad down to the studio and click through the morning’s emails and newsbytes. Today, tumblr® begins to protect me from inadvertent exposure to nipples. Good thing, I guess. Them things is dangerous! One friend was back on facebook after being in Zuckerman jail a month for tormenting a Muslim on a Christian/Muslim debate site.
Another friend makes an oblique comment about my lack of diligence on my journal site. It’s OK, though. She has permission. And hence this crabby little missive this morning.
It is an waffle day it is. But then, Sundays are always waffle.
OK … that the best I can do with a waffle pun …
Sunday is the day I make waffles. They are quick, tasty, and special. And best of all, Snook cleans up afterwards …
But now, a little catching up, a little peeping into your world, and coffee!