This is a week of different things--new tastes, old wines. I don't really drink wine, but it's a good metaphor. I received in the mail from Claire Fitch in Ireland her CD of ambient cello and electronics music which I purchased after reading about it on the internet. It's quite enjoyable--not too tart, not too sweet. I love that ambient artists build these self-created universes, some more workably, others less workably. She's a keeper of an artist, and I love that work of such sophistication comes in a mailer hand-addressed by the artist. On another electronic note, tonight I found myself translating the words to "Autobahn" to my wife. It's really a cool song,when you say it simply. A kind of Teutonic "I want you to want me", only it's not about "wanting" or "you" at all. But then nothing ever really is, I suppose.
A kind neighbor prepared a snacks basket for our Arkansas road trip tomorrow, which
we very much appreciate. Tonight after dinner, my wife and I watched Maria Bamford's Comedy Central special for the first time. She's simply great. I will lift one of her jokes by saying that I would aspire to be that incisive and witty, but it would cut into my sitting around time. I think my anger comes out in less constructive ways than hers.
My old law school friend Jeff called me tonight, apparently because my law school used my name on the invitation to the class reunion. We had not spoken in a couple of years, and it was good to hear his voice. He lives up in New Jersey now, still running the Charles Atlas Company. I am looking forward to seeing more law school friends tomorrow evening--I hope at least a good few show up for the reunion. I am still bemused that they put my name on it as if I were a "host", when I am far from being a partner in one of those "impressive" firms that some of my classmates now helm. Jeff gave me kudos for the choice I made nearly four years ago to leave behind a certain type of law practice and redefine what a law firm could be. I've never regretted that choice. I wish sometimes that I could still go with Jeff to the kind of little Hollywood seafood restaurants that involved crawling through culverts and pulling open screen doors.
My chess poem book is on auction for the third time this month. It sold the first two times, and we'll see how it goes this third "charm" time. I may have to go to a "third" printing, which sounds much more grandiose than it is, because my "printer" is the elegant "Office Depot". I actually devote mental energy to trying to decide what color the covers next should be.
I'm eager to see my parents, and to see my sister's new small town home in Stephens, Arkansas. I've not been to the "new" law school in Little Rock, which, ironically, is in the same "old" medical school building my father attended nearly fifty years ago. Law school transformed me in so many ways. I feel a real gratitude to my old school, and I know that not many people have that experience.
Maybe law school appealed to me because there were so many questions and so few answers. I like to live in the question. I loved that whenever someone made really impassioned legal argument in my first year torts class, the professor would smile,
and quietly say "now argue the other side".
Tonight at the Persian restaurant, the owner rushed over to shake my hand. Apparently, my wife had told him my standard joke about how "my" family likes her better than they like me (a riff I do quite well--almost as well as the bit about how my mother dressed my cuter younger brother in blue and stolid me in brown and green). She had used as an inapt illustration of the point my chance comment to her that I had gone into the cafe, but not gotten a chance to say "hi" to the owner. She was trying to say that I feel she helps spark conversation. The owner inferred the worst, and felt that he had neglected me, then, which was not my or my wife's intention to imply. I thought how I am nearly 20 years out of law school--when I graduated, I was the age of that cafe owner, who, at 24, seems so much more mature to me than I am now.
We chatted with the waitperson, a high schooler, about how she is going to the University of Oklahoma for college in a few weeks. University of Texas and Texas A & M are very hard to get into if one is not in the top 10 percent of one's class, so many local kids are migrating to surrounding-state universities.
I told her about the Arbuckle Mountains and the kiamichis and how much I love Oklahoma.
I had two empty, wonderful jars and a terrarium book. I call that possibility personified.