What the Day Brings

The time is approaching 6:00 a.m. The remaining half of the first cup of coffee is cooling too fast. Or I’m drinking it too slow. Last night’s dishes, some of which I uncharacteristically left in the sink, now are either clean or in the dishwasher. The dining table is full of stacks of paper from yesterday’s efforts to wade through mail I had allowed to stack up. I am making progress, but I have much, much more left to do. So, I have a reason to go on; and I shall, if only because I vow to tackle my obligations to file with taxes with the IRS before they send Federal agents to haul me away to tax protestors’ prison. Oh, I do not protest the taxes; only the labyrinthine processes we’re forced to go through to fulfill our financial obligations to society.


A friend from church recommended Pretend It’s a City, a seven-episode documentary series featuring Fran Lebowitz being interviewed by Martin Scorsese. I viewed the trailer and decided it’s the sort of series I will find entertaining and interesting and very funny (but also quite informative). So, it’s on my watch list. I’ve moved it quite near the top, because I feel a need for some humor that will challenge me a bit.

I read a bit about the series and learned that it is the second such collaboration between Lebowitz and Scorsese, the first a documentary film called Public Speaking in which Lebowitz espoused her philosophies. If I can find that, I will add that to my watch list, as well.

While reading a review on the rogerebert.com website, I read “…the two [Lebowitz and Scorsese] hold court in a few standard locations. The primary one is the Players, a Gramercy Park social club founded in the 19th century by actor (and brother of John Wilkes Booth) Edwin Booth.” Sounds intriguing to me!


Yesterday, the-then current president of my church unexpectedly resigned from his position and, along with his wife, membership in the church. Their reasons, whatever they are, are personal. If the reasons are painful, I hope they resolve quickly and completely; I really like the couple. He and I have quite a lot in common, intellectually. While we don’t always agree, either practically or philosophically, I always have enjoyed visiting with him, both in person and via email, to discuss “big picture” issues. He is a contemplative deep thinker who seems to enjoy exploring philosophical matters as much as I do. When I received his announcement, I wrote an email to him, expressing my disappointment and expressing my hope that we can maintain contact and communication. He responded affirmatively, which pleased me and lessened the blow a bit. Fortunately, the very capable vice president, a woman I consider a close friend, is available to step in to lead.


My dinner last night, by plan, did not include any meat. It consisted of a variety of canned vegetables (tomatoes and corn) and frozen vegetables (peas), liberally seasoned with an assortment of spices. I like those one-dish meals that take all of a minute and forty-five seconds to get on the stove. Add a minute to add the spices and thirty seconds to rinse the cans and the meal is nearly finished. Ten minutes later, it is heated through and ready to be ladled into a bowl. Sometimes, cooking is a joy; other times, a burden too great to bear. When the latter is true, restaurants and canned meals are blessings beyond measure. 😉 Oh, as for the intentional absence of meat, I’ve not turned vegetarian, but sometimes meat just doesn’t appeal to me. Sometime in the very near future, I’ll pivot to seafood for a while. I have a hankering for salmon, shrimp, cod, and many other creatures that emerge from the ocean. But neither my vegetarianism and my lust for seafood will hold sway tonight. Please continue.


Tonight (or, I should say, later today—early this afternoon—thanks to my sister-in-law’s gradual transition to geezer-like dining schedules), I will prepare a meal including a roast leg of lamb. There have been two legs of lamb in the freezer for awhile; I prepared one a month or three ago and I will finish off the second one today. The “semi-boneless leg of lamb” weighs 5.3 pounds, so I cannot eat it all myself. Therefore, I invited my sister-in-law to share in my bounty. We’re planning a 4:00 p.m. dinner, so I’ll have to start early by piercing the meat with a paring knife and then filling the wounds with fresh garlic cloves. There will be vegetable accompaniments, possibly including a salad. And, as I mentioned a day or two ago, there will be sufficient leftover lamb for me to make Shepherd’s Pie soon. Whenever I eat Shepherd’s Pie, I feel my British roots stir and I feel compelled to think about writing to the Queen; I’ve not yet written to Windsor Castle, but I may yet do it.


My plan to begin setting up the bed in the master bedroom did not come to fruition yesterday. Taxes and related financial “stuff” took precedence most of the day. And, then, when I started to move some bed pieces, I recalled how bloody heavy they are; I can move only some of the very small pieces. So, I will call in the troops to help me move and reassemble the bed. The very kind guy who along with his wife moved the bed frame into the garage for me is doing some work for a next door neighbor. I hope to ask him today if he can give me a hand with the bed when he finishes the project he’s doing for he neighbors. It’s really a four-person job, thanks to the awkward size and weight of the solid wood bed frame. My wife bought the bed before I met her. We talked, off and on, about getting rid of it and buying a king-sized bed. And occasionally we talked about getting rid of it and buying a simple queen-sized frame so as to diminish the overwhelming presence of the monster frame. But we never did either. And I’m not sure, now, whether I want to part with it. I doubt anyone would be willing to pay what I think it’s worth (though I don’t really have a specific dollar amount in mind). The fact that it’s solid wood (pecan, I think, but I could be wrong) is what makes me think it’s a really valuable piece of furniture. We shall see. Time will tell, as it always does.


I stumbled across an unattributed quote this morning that means a lot to me and reminds me of some of my most painful failings, failings now impossible to correct:

To love a person is to see all of their magic and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.

I suppose the lesson in that realization and reminder is that, if there is to be a future, one must learn from one’s most painful mistakes and never make them again.


Time has swept by me like the water in a raging creek. It’s now nearing 7:25. That’s how the day gets away from me. I sit and write and take a break and write a little more and take another break and sit and think and write, but stop, and stare at photos, and…that’s how it got to be nearly 7:25 and to have written so little. Off to tackle what the day brings.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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