Tag Summer (Journal Entry of August 17-21, 2013)


Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Saturday, August 17, 2013                 11:19 PM

It’s difficult to say how I feel tonight. It was such a beautiful day. Just perfect, with the sun shining and a few little clouds just there for ornamentation. And our yard looked like a store that had had its walls removed. All our tag sale stuff was on rows of tables and some on the ground, upon tarps. The clothes had a little hanging area with all the sizes marked on the different stacks of shirts and pants. People came early and stayed late. I stayed out of the whole process—if they asked me, we’d never sell a thing—or I’d give it away.

British Museum

British Museum

But our lovely Jessy made a nice wad towards her big wedding in the fall (the preparations have gone on for months—damn all those ‘bride-zilla’ TV shows). I’m to be fitted for a tux—Spencer, too. Looking forward to seeing him in a suit almost makes up for having to rent and wear a tux, myself—besides; I have to give the bride away.

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

But the down-side is that, as summer reaches its full glory, its end draws inevitably near. The way the weeks slip by for me, it’ll seem like no time at all until the wedding, the end of the year holidays—and there I am, in the dead of winter. Optimism, as you can see, is my forte.

But tomorrow, whatever’s not sold gets carted off to good-will or wherever. They’re even selling my Buick Le Sabre 2000 (with the HUD {heads-up display} and the genuine leather seats) because we don’t want to get it fixed ourselves. After a day of motor-heads discussing this and that beneath the hood, the upshot was the battery would be charged overnight, and an attempt to start it will be made in the morning.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

I’m glad to see it go—it looks so beautiful in the driveway (I’ve always liked that car) and it’s painful to see it just rust out there. Besides, my driver’s license has lapsed, a couple of years back, and the car was always being borrowed, as unused vehicles often are—the only thing ‘mine’ about it is the insurance and registration (all the responsibility and cost, and none of the driving).

H-O Trains at the Museum

H-O Trains at the Museum

I’ve no doubt someone will decide to take it off our hands and, if necessary, tow it away. I used it like the proverbial little old lady from Pasadena—except for other people driving it, it’s practically mint. But, of course, there were the other people, so it’s just ‘in pretty good shape’ for a 13-year-old Buick. Old-people stuff is the pits—you know, if you have to stop driving as a young person, it’s a matter of ‘how long until I can drive again?’—but for me, it’s ‘my driving days are over’.

Porsche Museum

Porsche Museum

But it was just great to have both kids (only they’re not kids anymore) and Claire and I, and our neighbors, Harlan and Sherryl, just hanging out in the front yard all day. Some people came to say ‘hi’ more than to shop, so we had several ‘how long’s it been?’- type encounters throughout the day. O—and Claire’s mom brought by her blondie brownies (OMG—she’s hard to beat, baking-wise).

Spencer’s old Legos were all gathered in one spot, about ten big bags full and several large boxes besides—a veritable leaf-pile’s worth of Legos. I wish we could say that lots of little kids had fun with them throughout the day but the truth is someone came by very early and bought the whole pile—o, well. Toys go fast at tag sales.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

Now all the unsold stuff is under tarps, awaiting day two of the monster tag sale. The funniest part about it is Jessy—she would be right at home in a middle-eastern bazaar, dickering and schmoozing, glad-handing and organizing—she’s amazing. She could command troops, I think, if the conditions ever arose.

Natural History Museum London

Natural History Museum London

Every once in a while I’d catch a glimpse of something, like my marimbas, drumsticks, and ukulele, or my oil-skin jacket, or my serape—and I would just bite my tongue. After all, I couldn’t say I’d used any one of those things in a long time—or anticipated using them anytime soon—but they’re just the kinds of things I feel possessive about. So, in my head, I let it all go. I’ve found that if such things are sold without me seeing them go, I never miss them—so I just pretend I don’t see them.

I’ve always had a knack for extrapolation—I often see the elbow heading for the juice glass in time to move the glass—but I am, sadly, best at the bad extrapolations—for instance, I can see where this could easily be the last time, or at best, the last time for a long while, that the four of us will be sharing the house and seeing each other every day. It’s so nice, I can’t bear the thought of it ending.

So fires and floods, coast to coast, and I don’t care. I live here and here is very nice right now—I feel bad for the troubles of others, but I’m not going to dwell on the news from far away, especially bad news from far away (is there any other kind?)

kscvc atlantis

kscvc atlantis

I’m enjoying re-reading the works of Ian Banks, one of my top sci-fi writers, ever. I’m having so much fun with music I have to keep telling myself to back up my recordings, for safety, but I’m too busy making new ones and, somehow, that seems more important. And I’ve come to accept that my writing will never be in the form of a book, will never be popular reading, and will, therefore, never make me a penny—nothing new there, except for the end of the fantasy that it would ever change.

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

I am consoled by the freedom I feel now, writing whatever I feel like writing, not worrying about my interface with the real world. God, do I have a shitty interface with the real world—I am flush with all kinds of wonders and conceits that have no practical value—but my ability to meet people, converse with people, convince people, or ‘close’ on people is pitifully weak, damn near non-existent. I have spent too much of my life in situations where my optimistically existential world-view is never challenged.

New South Wales Art Gallery - night

New South Wales Art Gallery – night

I’ve become so comfortable in my sectarianism that I’m liable to say all kinds of impolite things that I should keep to myself when in the company of faith-based society—which is still most of society—and which will be a long time changing, in that respect. If I had stayed in the mix, held a job, interacted with other people all day, I would have never had the chance to become so impatient with everyday phrases like, ‘I’ll pray for you’; ‘It’s God’s will’; or ‘They’re still watching us from heaven’—you know the sort of thing.

British Museum

British Museum

I can watch “Saved By An Angel”—but for me, it’s a comedy. I can watch Hallmark movies—firstly, because I love the corn, the really tall corn—but secondly, because they make serious movies about God and Santa Claus, which is kind of where I am with the whole thing.

Photographers' Gallery, London

Photographers’ Gallery, London

Come to think of it, when people of faith watch Hallmark TV-movies, do they see the ‘God’ ones as real and the ‘Santa’ movies as a silly kid’s fantasy? How could that fail to cause cognitive dissonance? I think the execs over at Hallmark are invested in faith-based and fantasy-based messages—after all, they are the folks who made holiday cards and gift cards and get-well cards absolute necessities of our society. Even after the Roman Catholic Church had removed St. Valentine’s Day from the church calendar, the folks at Hallmark were still interested. How could they resist? A holiday that pretty much mandates a greeting card, or a handful, even?—Hallmark bravely said, ‘No, St. Valentine stays’!

The point is, whenever that kind of loose talk about the spiritual world gets bandied about, I say nothing. But I’m still feeling something—I just know that no good can come from criticizing someone else’s belief system—but I still have all kinds of comments just begging to be let loose. I get frustrated and impatient in such company and I soon reach a point where I have to walk away.

gallery

gallery

There are some mental gymnastics involved with being a secular humanist—one must keep in mind that religion is still very much a real thing for the other people, one learns some very subtle responses to ‘I’ll pray for you’, etc., and one inevitably edits the subject out of any discussion about other things—because it’s a big thing to most people, and the original subject would be forgotten in the ensuing argument over God.

Louvre at Dusk

Louvre at Dusk

I already had some limitations, back in my normal days—I had no patience with bigotry or sexism and I would never just let it slide. It’s surprising how strong the reaction is from people who aren’t used to being called on their ignorance—it should be as obvious to them as it is to me that reactions that strong are born of defensiveness—that they know in their hearts they are wrong and are just mad at me because I ruined the ‘fun’.

Field Museum of Natural History

Field Museum of Natural History

So, lots of arguments at work, or in a bar—and this was before I went from agnostic to full-on anti-religious. I hurt myself with this behavior—a more stable person would roll with the waves and let things slide—but I have been neglected, misunderstood, and even hated in my life—I did not like it and I can’t stand to see it happen to others.

I used to do crystal meth—I just couldn’t believe the change it made in me—I would snort some speed and the next thing you know I’m introducing myself to strangers, having conversations with people, enjoying being in a crowded bar or at a party. Those were the days—but they weren’t me, not really. Only under the influence of a strong drug could I act like other people and be comfortable with a social scene. But the supply dried up, and suddenly everyone was selling coke—that was the end of my enjoying being in crowds…

Main Display Tile View

Main Display Tile View

Follow up:

The Tag Sale was just as good on the second day, Sunday. Someone actually got the Buick started, and promptly bought it and drove it away.

It’s Wednesday now and most of the leftover stuff has been carted off to charities or the junkyard.

The yard is mostly a lawn again. Jessie made a big pile of dough. Everybody’s happy. I’m still reading (same author, different book). Claire’s gone off to her literary ladies gathering. Spencer just picked some cukes and a little basil from the backyard garden—cukes taste delicious. Every summer we get both our own garden’s produce and the subscription Claire has to an organic farm that brings in a mixed crate-full each week.

Summer is so good—we really ought to make it longer.

Gallery Cité

Gallery Cité

2 responses to “Tag Summer (Journal Entry of August 17-21, 2013)

  1. What a collection of photos of all the museums… and I really enjoyed the post… congrats on the upcoming wedding… some how can’t picture you in a Tux…

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