Our oldest kid, Gabriel, isn’t a kid anymore. He turns 18 today. It’s a Monday. It’s a school day. He has to work at the pizza parlor tonight. Yep, sounds like most adult birthdays – booorrrrrrinnnng!
Now that he’s officially an adult in the eyes of the law, there are a lot of risky things he can do, like bungee jumping or skydiving or buying lottery tickets. (Actually, that last one isn’t risky at all – the house always wins.)
He can buy cigarettes but I hope and pray he never does.
He can get a tattoo but I hope he realizes that everyone has a tattoo these days, and the rebellious thing to do is to NOT get one.
He can buy fireworks and go to jail… somehow those two are related in my head, in an if/then sort of way. If you are stupid enough to buy fireworks, you are probably going to wind up in jail.
He can vote, and I hope he does… can we fast-forward to 2020 please?
But most importantly of all, he can get his own credit card… but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, not when his old man’s credit card works just fine at the gas pump and fast food restaurants.
And here’s his song of the day, a dedication to his parents:
I was checking out at the grocery store yesterday (“bloggers – they’re just like us!”) and saw this on the cover of Us Magazine:
TAYLOR SWIFT: MY AMAZING COMEBACK!
Comeback? Excuse me… did I miss something here? Because the last time I checked, Taylor Swift had released five studio albums prior to her latest release, each one coming roughly two years after the previous one (and perfected timed for the late-October/early-November holiday shopping season, might I add)… and the crappiest selling one of them is quadruple platinum.
Am I the new Rip Van Winkle? Have I been asleep for the 20 years when Taylor Swift fell out of the public eye?
Have I entered a Twilight Zone where her every dalliance isn’t documented on a daily basis?
Are we now living in an alternate reality where T-Swizzle lost her entire $250 million fortune on orange juice futures?
What exactly is Taylor Swift’s “amazing comeback”? Coming back from her own private island, perhaps. Her newest release just sold 1.2 million copies in a week… in a day and age when people don’t buy music anymore.
Can’t wait for next week’s issue of Us, maybe they’ll have another great feature like:
Scrooge McDuck: My Amazing Rags to Riches Story!
On Friday morning I saw a very life-affirming presentation… from an expert on dying. Cole Imperi is a designer, but she’s also a thanatologist… an expert in death, dying and bereavement. And she has a great hairstyle.
She spoke at the Creative Mornings monthly breakfast lecture, about Big Death vs. Little Death (the former is when someone passes away, but the latter can be any significant change in life – a divorce, losing a job, etc. – and we need to mourn those too) and Big Voice (your ego) vs. Little Voice (your passion/purpose). She has spent countless hours with folks who are dying, and she said you can see the regret on their face, and 99% of the time it’s about things they didn’t do but wished they had.
Cole also had us all write a quick obituary, following the standard form (name, age, city of residence, job, hobbies, etc.). Then she asked if any of us felt like our obituary was perfect – we had accomplished everything we wanted to in our lives. Of course no one in the audience felt that way. So the good news is, we’re not dead yet.
We still have time to do what truly drives us. After all, as Dylan said, “he not busy being born is busy dying.”
Cole believes that better living comes from knowing dying. Jason Isbell covers that territory beautifully in a song from his new album, “If We Were Vampires.” Watch the interview after the song when they talk about the line “maybe time running out is a gift.” As Jason says, “maybe the best thing of all is death, because that’s the only reason any of us get up in the morning. It’s the only reason any of us fall in love. It’s the only reason any of us care about anything…. is because one day we’re gonna be dead.”
Happy Life Day! But not this Life Day:
A couple of our kids deliver a weekly community newspaper… actually it’s just Gabriel now, Peter had to “retire” due to his work and sports schedules (pizza joint and bowling team, respectively, if you’re keeping score at home). Let’s just say the Forest Hills Journal will never be mistaken for the New York Times…. or the New York Post for that matter. Whereas the Times covers “all the news that’s fit to print,” the Forest Hills Journal‘s motto is “all the news that fits, we print.” But it’s great if you’re a Gladys Kravitz nosy neighbor type.
Each week they list all the home sales in the area, so you can find out exactly what that house down the street sold for. And they also have each municipality’s police report. This week, the Fairfax neighborhood was heavy on theft, especially in the 4000 block of Red Bank Road:
My favorite is Theft of figget spinner. I’ve heard of fidget spinners – they’re as ubiquitous as the Kardashians these days, and their popularity is just as inexplicable — but figget spinners must be extra fancy if they get their own category of theft. Maybe they are fidget spinners made out of gold nuggets.
Or better yet, fidget spinners covered in Fig Newtons.
I can see why someone might get sticky fingers (literally and figuratively) with those.
And why the major crime wave in the 4000 block of Red Bank Road? Need you even ask:
I’ve waxed poetic (OK, it was un-poetic… so sue me) about the death of Thanksgiving in previous years. It’s the only “pure” holiday left – a day set aside for gathering with friends and family to give thanks, with no (purse)strings attached. But since retailers can’t sell you something you don’t need on that day, they ignore it. As soon as the clock strikes midnight on All Hallows’ Eve (the “sell them candy and costumes and party supplies” holiday), retailers hit fast forward and skip right to Christmas (the “sell them everything that isn’t bolted down” holiday).
The day after Thanksgiving usually marked the starting point for the onslaught of the relentless retailing race. But every year, there are more retailers jumping the gun in an unceasing effort to get inside your pants (because your wallet is there, that’s all).
In the past couple of years, “Closed on Thanksgiving Day” has fallen by the wayside. This year it’s “Black Friday NOW!” mania, as witnessed by the ads in yesterday’s newspaper:
Believe it or not, I’m actually in favor of this trend. Because if “Black Friday” moves up to early November, maybe all the crass commercialism will be over before Thanksgiving, and we can actually enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas without the shopping hassles. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? So, without further ado, a couple of tunes for your shopping pleasure…