Random October Thoughts

I miss my construction job and the learning that accrued with the labor.

Dad and I discussed the term “jack shit” and wondered where it originated. I like the phrase a lot and need to restore it to my regular use.

Dad told me a story about a snowstorm in Iowa he experienced as a kid where the drifts were so high he could touch the tops of telephone poles. He said school was out for six weeks and he and his brother did nothing but play Monopoly. They repeatedly argued over the game to such an annoying degree that their stepmother threw the board into the fire. Dad and his brother fashioned a new one from memory and kept on playing in the barn.

I rescued two books from the recycling bin of the local bookstore, a Lillian Hellman memoir of her experiences during the McCarthy era, and a collection of short stories by Carson McCullers. There is nothing like rescuing old books from annihilation. They still might have interesting work to do. I hope one day someone rescues my books from annihilation.

I continue to publish books that virtually no one will read.

The more I read about local government in the city the more it seems like it is riddled with a unique incompetence. Unlike Republicans who don’t believe in governing or know how to govern, Portland officials believe in good governing but seem unable to govern.

I tried buying an Oregon atlas from a local retailer the other day. No luck. Even the hunting/fishing store didn’t carry one. Somehow this made me depressed.

I reread Cannery Row. It’s probably been 35 years since I last read it. What a classic! It so moved me that I started working on an essay of its obvious relevance to my current writing about the homeless. Which you can check out here: https://mattlove.substack.com/

I firmly believe that the ability to follow up with someone is the most important quality in a relationship and often the hardest thing for someone to do.

No one seems to surprise me anymore. Maybe surprising people becomes harder as people get older. It takes effort and perhaps the tank is empty.