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The Kids Understand
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 10:33:52 EDT

Great Pumpkin.

great pumpkin

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Halloween
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 10:22:34 EDT

Speaking of disturbing images.

halloween

Too scary . . .

But wish fulfillment, too.

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Virtually Retired
Topic: Lexicon Pantheon
Posted by Everyman - 10:01:28 EDT

It\'s a matter of definition, I suppose:

virtual

vir·tu·al

adjective ˈvər-chə-wəl, -chəl; ˈvərch-wəl

: very close to being something without actually being it

: existing or occurring on computers or on the Internet Full Definition of VIRTUAL

1 : being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted

2 : of, relating to, or using virtual memory

3 of, relating to, or being a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from indirect evidence — compare real

4 : being on or simulated on a computer or computer network : as

a : occurring or existing primarily online

b : of, relating to, or existing within a virtual reality

A disturbing image, I'll grant you.

But virtual retirement - it would be silly to think of it as anything else, yet I resist the "R" word at every turn - is considerably better, I'm thinking, than the real thing is, which is to say it now means still being, or feeling like being, part of life.

Which, I confess, is what I prefer to feel, even to be.

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There's A Choice?
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 11:05:31 EDT

None that I ever knew about.

blazek

And an obvious choice at that.

By the way:

The needed "treats" are called fees.

And they're not optional at all.

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Coming Attractions
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 10:57:02 EDT

Isn't that always the way?

f minus

As life creeps out its petty pace . . .

From day to day?

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My Problem, Too
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 10:47:22 EDT

On the other hand, we are coming up on the season when, unexpectedly, small children will peer at me, in public, in restaurants, for example - with encouragement from their parents - wondering whether I might be, I could be, really . . .

Santa.

arlo

arlo

So not much of a candidate, eligible to be a threat, to be "the other man" in anybody's scenario with a wife.

Sigh.

Thanks For The Memories:

Because the present realities are most often better - considerably better - than the distant memories wafting in on social media.

arlo

As Arlo understands.

Trust me on this.

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Eye-Opening
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 10:14:37 EDT

Or at least there seems to be some stirring among the African-American intelligentsia, some belated recognition that they have been long snookered by innumerable politicians of a certain stripe.

A change to be hoped for . . .

For sure.

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I Thought I Knew
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 10:06:43 EDT

I'm less sure, now.

F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have said, or to have written:

second acts

There are no second acts in American lives.

Fitzgerald scholars are uneasy with the line, apparently, for several reasons, and there is an underlying dubiousness about what Fitzgerald was saying, or meant to be saying, by his observation.

It shows up in the unfinished novel that was posthumously published called "The Last Tycoon" in 1941, where it's just that line sort of dashed off in the middle of a bunch of working notes. But it actually dates back earlier, to about 1932, where it's used in a very different way. And I think that way is probably more in line with Fitzgerald's thinking throughout his life.

CORNISH: Which is? What was the main thinking there?

CURNUTT: Well, it shows up in an essay called "My Lost City," which is a beautiful sort of testament to New York and was actually very popular in the aftermath of 9/11. The line he says here is: I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there was certainly to be a second act to New York's boom days.

Clearly he's sort of saying, well, I once believed this but I've been proved wrong. And I think that's what really gets most of us who are Fitzgerald fans is that line is always quoted as saying, well, how naive was Fitzgerald to have said there are no second acts in American lives, when he himself was only a couple of years away from what many people consider the greatest second act in American literary history.

But more to the point, the standard stage performance is the three-act play, and while the second act is important in terms of thematic and character development, it is not a finished work in and of itself, and the denouement still awaits the third act playing itself out before the curtain comes down and the lights come back up.

If there is no second act, can there be a third? The question answers itself in the negative, even on the numbers.

The line is generally taken to mean - and I always took it to mean - that there is no personal reinvention available, none possible, for those who have set their course in a less-than-fortuitous way, somehow lived too much of their lives, in their first act, at the end of which their lives are pretty much done and done, over, cast in stone, beyond any possible salvation, b beyond redemption.

Fitzerald's thought remains enigmatic, still, worth pondering but, in the end - whenever that comes - fundamentally imponderable all the same.

At least to me.

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Into Each Life . . .
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 10:27:34 EDT

Still working on the I.R.S. stuff, alas.

thomas

A little rain?

That's the metaphor.

It's a bit more, a bit worse, than that.

We were once able to raise our own umbrellas of protection against the imprecations that hover about us, 24/7.

Now?

Not so much.

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