Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's After Midnight. Here's A Paragraph Or Two.


Big thanks to my mom who knows me well and gave me a calendar with pictures of trains to hang on my wall. I'm up late and sipping Sam Adams Black Lager and listening to Rain Dogs and Swordfishtrombones and Frank's Wild Years. I've got regrets that make me want to turn back the clock thirty years and I've got regrets that make me want to turn it back a day, but forward is the only way we get to go. One way forward and twenty-four hours a day, the great equalizer among us.

My son woke me from a nap this afternoon singing "16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought Six." Well, not the song, but that title line. I had been singing it earlier in the day while making his lunch and I guess he was paying attention. Maybe I'm more influential than I know. Speaking of Tom Waits and his songs, I'll share a quick confession, a sacrilege possibly among fans. I never cared for "Tom Traubert's Blues." It's good enough a song, but I never got why so many people who dig Waits seem to have that at the top of their list of favorite songs by him. It's grand and sweeping and melancholy as all get out, all good qualities for a song that resonates, but I get more out of "Time" and "Innocent When You Dream" when needing that signature Tom Waits song fix.

While I'm telling the Internet that I think about things, here's a line that I liked from the New York Times piece titled Depression's Upside:
If depression didn’t exist — if we didn’t react to stress and trauma with endless ruminations — then we would be less likely to solve our predicaments. Wisdom isn’t cheap, and we pay for it with pain.
I'm a wreck, a mess, and a misfit in so many regards, but a man with "endless ruminations" sounds so much better. Some nights, I don't figure I've got a chance at all in figuring out whatever it is that I need to figure out. Here's to the theory that I'm buying some wisdom by ruminating all the damn time. I sure hope so.

That said/written/blogged, I'm off to bed. I hope I dream about trains.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

thought you'd like the train
calendar. i'm going to get
you get you a book about daddy
when i get around to it.
love - mom
can't wait to see you monday,

The Old Man and His Dog said...

OK, you got my interest. All these blogs about Tom Waits. Since I've never even heard him, if I were to ask you which album I should listen to first, which is his best, would make me so impressed that I'd be hooked, which would it be? I don't want to start with the luke warm stuff, start me off with the best of the best. Hook me up...

brent1956 said...

Mike your pictures are really good bro! Interesting lighting. You've really got a talent for this.

brent1956 said...

To the above post about where to start with Tom Waits - I recommend:
1. Nighthawks At The Diner
2. Closing Time
3. Swordfishtrombones
4. Blue Valentine
5. Blood Money/Alice

The Old Man and His Dog said...

Thanks brent 1956

chez bez said...

Old Man: Sorry for the late reply. I'll agree wholeheartedly with Brent1956 and his recommendations. I'll add though that Rain Dogs is also considered by many to be one of his best efforts.

Have fun getting into his music. It's a wild and fun ride.

The Middle Child said...

You look a little like David Duchovny in this pic.