Took Down the Posters

My daughter is going to college in January. I asked her to come to my house and get the stuff out of her room. She hadn’t really stayed over much since I moved back in about two and a half years ago, but there were some clothes and a few knickknacks in her room. There were also posters on the wall that needed to come down as I convert this into a guest room.

My sense of whistfulness is not about an 18-year-old taking down the Star Wars posters. It is more about the 8-year-old who moved in ten years ago with her Hannah Montana poster.

Cheese Wheel

We ate at an Italian restaurant that makes a version of fettuccine alfredo tableside. In a 90-pound wheel of cheese. While we considered if we were going to order this – you can share it as an appetizer so one person doesn’t have to consume the whole thing – I said I didn’t think I wanted it. My daughter looked at me and said I did want it. You and I are alike, and you better believe I want to eat pasta made in a cheese wheel. And I know you want to eat pasta made in a cheese wheel too. It was delicious.

White is Not White

It is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles album known as the white album. The official name, The Beatles, is embossed on a plain white cover. An artist has collected – and occasionally displays – over 2,000 copies of the vinyl album. While it is hard to think that the albums would be that different, they were treated differently, and some have writing or stickers on them. And they really are aging at different rates.

My Taste in Music

The review of the Mumford & Sons album included the following paragraph. It pretty much sums up my recent taste in music.

Fleet Foxes made the best albums, the Avett Brothers played the best shows, the Lumineers had the single stickiest hit, Of Monsters and Men had that other big song that involved yelling “HEY!” a lot, and the Mumfords towered over them all, packing arenas with what The New York Times described, half-admiringly and half-not, as an “astonishingly loud” brand of “bro-folk.”

Actual Voices

I understand what people must have thought when movies transitioned from silent pictures to talkies. “Ugh, he sounds like that,” was the reaction to the voices of several silent film stars. Their careers were over. Normally I run with headphones, listening to a podcast or music. While I always nod, wave, or otherwise greet people, I never hear if they respond by voice. A nod or wave is all I catch.

Running without headphones is a different story. I hear the people who say hello or good morning. These are people I have seen on the trail for years. I’ve never given them names, but I identify them by appearance. Old man with goatee. Woman walking brown lab. And when I heard their voices, it was jarring. They were not at all what I expected. I need make sure my headphones are charged whenever I run.

On Writing

William Goldman passed away. He was the author of The Princess Bride, both the book and the screenplay, as well as the screenwriter of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men. His description of writing is spot on.

Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound. If you’re trying a screenplay, you know it’s never going to be Bergman. If it’s a novel, well, what kind of a novelist can you hope to be when Dostoevski was there before you. And Dickens and Cervantes and all the other masters that led you to the prison of your desk. But if you’re a writer, that’s what you must do, and in order to accomplish anything at all, at the rock bottom of it all is your confidence. You tell yourself lies and you force them into belief: Hey, you suckers, I’m going to do it this one time. I’m going to tell you things you never knew. I’ve—got—secrets!