“I got a rock…”

greatpumpkinwallme and my Peanuts pals hangin’ out in the pumpkin patch

Well, I’m camped out in the most sincere pumpkin patch I could find with a bottle of whiskey and a trick-or-treat bag full of rocks, and I’m just certain that this is the year I’m finally going to get a visit from the Great Pumpkin.

char_69253Each year the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere.  He’s got to pick this one– he’s got to!  I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one.  You can look all around, and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy– nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.

 
Attaboy, Linus– don’t stop believin’.

Happy Halloween, y’all.

“it was too cold always…”

Stevie Smith, circa 1969

Stevie Smith was a tiny thing.  A diminutive poet of tremendous talent with a truly unique and wonderful voice, her Collected Poems remains one of my favorite volumes of poetry I own in part for its uniqueness (her Thurber-esque line drawings scattered throughout the book are particularly priceless).

Stevie Smith Collected PoemsStevie suffered from depression (as many poets and creative types are want to do) and yet she never seemed to let that depression get the better of her, channeling that sadness into a prolific writing talent whose lighthearted and humorous tone belied the loneliness and melancholy at its roots.  To this day, I never cease to be amazed at how she managed to accomplish that.

Below is perhaps her most famous poem, and also (admittedly) my favorite.  

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Every time I read this poem, I can’t help but recall a family vacation to Ha Ha Tonka when I was a child.  My younger brother Cole, who was about eight or nine years old at the time (and who couldn’t swim), had waded out from the lake shore far enough for my father to take notice.  Seeing that my brother’s head was just above water, my father called out to Cole to stand up.  My brother yelled back, “I AM standing up!”  Dad quickly dived into the water to retrieve my brother before he drowned.  Sometimes family’s good that way, I guess.

Do You Realize?

Listening to late night radio again and happened to hear a tune I hadn’t heard in a long, long time.  I’ve never really been a huge fan of The Flaming Lips, as they’re more or less a pyschedelic jam band (and I fucking hate psychedelic jam bands), but I can distinctly remember hearing this song for the very first time on the radio in 2002 and being so moved that I had to pull over my car to finish it.

So here’s a brutally honest and beautifully poignant song (both lyrically and musically) from an otherwise absurdist band.  The video’s a bit ridiculous, but the song sure as hell isn’t.

Do you realize… that you have the most beautiful face?
Do you realize… we’re floating in space?
Do you realize… that happiness makes you cry?
Do you realize… that everyone you know someday will die?

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes,
let them know you realize that life goes fast–

it’s hard to make the good things last–
you realize the sun doesn’t go down–
it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.

Do you realize? (oh, oh, oh)
Do you realize… that everyone you know someday will die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes,
let them know you realize that life goes fast–

it’s hard to make the good things last–
you realize the sun doesn’t go down–
it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.
Do you realize… that you have the most beautiful face?

Do you realize?

(apologies to The Flaming Lips)

Thought For The Day

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And what if you don’t have EITHER of those things, Gretchen darlin’?  What then?

Coincidentally, Gretchen Rubin is originally from Kansas City, home to the baseball team I rooted for as a child (who just won Game 1 of the World Series in 14 innings) and home also to one of my oldest (and loneliest) friends, Steve, who I actually drove up to K.C. to visit last week.  It was good catching up with my ol’ pal whom I hadn’t seen in years, but Steve is a fellow depressive as well as a fellow victim of loneliness, so it was a little despiriting to commisserate with someone who’s also battling melancholia as severely as I am.  What makes Steve different, though, is that he’s hands down the funniest motherfucker I’ve ever known as well as an optimist at heart, so through all of his adversity he has managed to retain both his senses of humor and hope, which is more than I can say for myself.

Mic Drop

This was a mistake.  I’ve been acting crazy…  that phone call just pulled me back to reality.  You were right– I don’t love you.  You don’t love me.  We’re just two lonely people trying to hate ourselves a little less.  Maybe that’s all we’re ever going to be.  Maybe that’s all we ever were.

I like cartoons ’cause they’re funny.