Anna in Fall

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Anna in Fall #5

So I bought the most ridiculously humongous Bible at a book sale today.

ridiculously humongous Bible

I posted this on Facedbook. It did draw some response:

My lovely conservative friend who grew up with religion: I’m glad you bought it, Aaron. It kind of makes my heart happy. If you actually want to read it, might I suggest starting with the book of Mark?

Me: You assume I haven’t?

My lovely conservative friend who grew up with religion: Yeah, I assumed you hadn’t.

Me: I’ve read Atlas Shrugged, too. Doesn’t mean I’m voting for Paul Ryan.

I’m such a charmer.

The Final Frontier

It occurred to me this evening, too, watching Mr. Obama’s performance this evening, that a real opportunity has been missed in the course of his campaign.

He talks a lot about the need for education and training, and he hit it especially hard that we need education and training in the advanced manufacturing sector. He’s right. But there’s an opportunity he’s missed here to put eyebrows on it.

Look. You can talk green energy until you’re blue in the face. But that ain’t a sexy topic.

Now. Take five minute and watch this.

Goosebumps, right? Maybe even a lump in your throat?

If you want to get behind education and training, you can get behind green energy, fine. But get behind the space program, too. Rally your campaign around NASA and set monumental goals. We have an explorer satellite that is about to break free of our solar system and that is still sending us information. We have a rover on Mars. We have just discovered a new planet in our closest neighboring solar system that is about the same size as our own planet. If you consider how much we have learned about the universe in our lifetime, it is staggering. No, the universe is not expanding at a decreasing rate; it is expanding more quickly, a fact that confounds everything we have ever assumed.

But I digress.

Campaign behind NASA, behind the penny for NASA idea, and you will touch on many issues at once, and you will give those issues a powerful frame. Education. Infrastructure. Budget issues. Not to mention, you will align yourself with John F. Kennedy himself and you will have a powerful ally in one Neil deGrasse Tyson, the narrator of that little clip.

But what do I know.

Fred Thomas

By the time I ended up in Kent, Ohio, life had taken a couple of turns. My folks had divorced, and I had moved from the town of my birth and where I considered to have been my home town of Lawrence, Kansas, to Topeka, Kansas, for fourth grade and to the suburbs of Pittsburgh for the first half of fifth grade.

I think a kid like that misses out on some socialization. He’s constantly introduced to new already established social constructs and has to do a lot more clawing and put up with the hazing.

A kid like that is the odd kid out, and he knows it.

In fifth grade, I found another kid who was in the same boat. Fred Thomas. For much of the rest of our careers at Holden Elementary, we were best buddies, I think in large extent to that we both felt like the odd guys out. He, too, was new in the school having transferred I believe from the local parochial school. He was also biracial, something I’m sure he had to find his way through at the time. And, he was, like me, somewhat of an odd guy who I think felt a lack of foundation.

Fred could flip. I will never forget the day he demonstrated this in the playground. He jumped up in the air, flipped, and landed on his feet. Quite the athlete. But I never knew anyone more earnest than Fred. He was a nice guy. A genuine guy. I liked Fred. You had to.

He and I went to different social circles when we went to junior high as does happen. But I am full of gratitude for Fred for agreeing to be friends with the other odd man out, because I’ll tell you, at the time, I didn’t have much else.

I found out today that Fred has died of cancer. A good friend, a good man, and, once upon a time, my best friend.

A New Adventure

I don’t know if blogging is just plain dead due to the advent of the social networkings and all, or if I’m just too damned old for it, or if my blog just plain sucks and I don’t feel like anyone is reading or that I even want anyone to read anymore. But I don’t want this thing to die anyway. I’ve been writing here for too long whatever the reason for my recent ennui regarding this and other blogging and generally Web projects.

Regardless. I’m sitting in my new adventure now, a studio apartment in downtown Rochester that I’ve had the task of civilizing ever since I signed the lease. I am marveling, I mean just marveling about the first challenge match of The Voice, where the Scottish kid and the redneck are about to sing “Carry On Wayward Son” again. Again, because I have rewound it on the TiVo because I am incredulous that these two were not coached to bring any harmony whatsoever to the song. None. Nope, it’s getting the old Bananarama treatment from these fellows, despite the ample opportunities to bring attention to the notion on national television that, once upon a time, singers used to do this thing call “harmony.” One of the masters of this practice was a band called “Kansas.” To sing this song with two vocalists and not to bring any harmony to the party has left my jaw on the ground. What a weird choice.

For a long time, I didn’t bother to move in. It was messy. Clutter on the floor in front of the main closet so I couldn’t get to it. I was on track to buy a house for a while but was wisely advised against it; wisdom that carries further today than I could have imagined. I have been overwhelmed by some time with the task of setting up a studio apartment. A house. Good gravity. But I finally put in the time this past weekend, and the place is feeling cozy. More time this morning to unload more things. Set up my turntable. Grand Diversion Station #63 is coming together, with TV I get sans cable bill thanks to a lovely HD antenna in the window. Crystal clear reception. I cleaned deeply on Saturday, though there is more to do.

I don’t understand the previous tenants. There are problems in this little studio that had gone on for a while. Today the maintenance man had to replace the disposal and the trap in the kitchen completely due to the leak. I’ve had the faucet in the shower replaced because when I first moved in there was no cold water. The tops of the kitchen cabinets have not been cleaned in eons. The one above the stove is gonna require the scrubbing bubble guys.

But when I’m through, this is going to be a much different place than the one I moved into. It’s gonna be cozy. And clean. And moving from a big rural farm with your family into a little place in the city on your own is a big transition, from how you cook to how you do the dishes to how you keep your schedule. And so far, it’s been bumpy sometimes. But I’m growing into it. Digging it quite a lot, actually.

It’s still echo-ey in here. But I am fortunate to have gotten to make this transition using the method with which I work best, methodically, thoughtfully, incrementally. Having supportive family nearby is helpful. I get to go visit and nom nom nom on their food from time to time, and then to throw a load of my things into my car, and then to arrange it as it is needed, as I have slowly planned.

So far, the new adventure is often that mundane. Most adventures are, to be clear. A lot of waiting and watching and doing the grunt work. But I’m having some fun.

Maybe I’ll blog here once in a while now. Even though I’m pretty sure blogging, at least as an individual expression, is pretty much dead due to the Twitter Facebook Pinterest Industrial Complex.