Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Last night I discovered on a local blog (thank goodness for those) that my local deli man, Pepe, died at work of a heart attack. He was 42. I am shocked by this. He was always there, and always a smiling face, and even though I didn't order everyday, or even every week, he always knew what I was there for,  and I know it's a cliche about the man at the counter. Just a few days ago he ribbed me about my roast beef. This is a tragedy for his two children, 5 and 7, and his wife. And no one saw it coming.


I've decided to begin rising earlier than I have been, and consequently, needing my full 8 hours, going to bed earlier. Why stay up to midnight, carousing on the Internet, watching comedy reruns, bad news? Getting up at 5:30 am, heading out to the studio, arriving by 7 am. It has to be that early. I went today harangued by standing room only buses, gobs of school kids, lines at the breakfast counter. Eight aye em is just too late. Then I rushed, ruined lots of hard won progress, left too late and was then a half hour late to work. So, tomorrow I set the alarm for 5:30 am, arrive at the studio by 7 am, leaving me 3 hours to work before I leave for work.

Leaving this winter for Minnesota I feel a minor sense of, I'll call it, negative anticipation. I feel as if we may be running the gauntlet of weather. Now, I am exceptionally adept at reading the weather -at least as presented in graphical form on the Internet. I can anticipate the movement of clouds via satellite images, make future sense of a series of radar graphics, understand the effects the isobars of pressure represent, and spot the hole and shoot for it! Then, I think of Rex, my father in law, who knows little of this Internet, yet can look at the sky, interpret the barometer and hygrometer readings, name clouds and know what they mean relative to multiple other factors, the way any Navy weatherman should, having done so long before satellite images were reality. In fact, he invented a wheel that can forecast the weather based on a selection of factors, but his company at the time, Honeywell, saw no market for it.

But I'm not sure he or his invention would do us any good driving the gauntlet, as predicting weather is generally based on a fixed location, adding movement ramps down probabilities. He will, however, be happy to see us, in one piece, in Minnesota, where his daughter belongs, not the liberal, heathen NYC, that has so many wonders he admires. I am hoping for a visit to New Ulm, the original midwestern German town, from which my wife's family descends, and well known for it's warring past that inspired President Lincoln to say that he "...could not afford to hang men for votes." With that in mind, I may just dance my lederhosen off with a gaggle of giant gnomes.


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...