Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Muse Is One Tough Cookie

Many online journals and blogs eventually present an entry (sometimes many) that attempts to explain or apologize for the writer's extended absence. This sort of entry, I think you will agree, gentle reader (Hi, Mom!), is among the lowest of this online literary form. I think just admitting that the muse is one tough cookie and then moving on is the better strategy, and that's my plan.

Over the last few months I've done a little housekeeping here on the site, editing the template, deleting some entries that were better suited to a snarky Facebook posting, and posting one new entry, just to see if I could still line up words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and circumambulate around some vague point. And to see if I could walk away without comment from a probable redundancy such as "circumambulate around". Apparently I cannot.

And that is really my only reason for being here. I have no grander purpose than to line up words in a reasonably good order and occasionally to make a little sense.

So onward I go with a few highlights from the many days I've been absent.

The unlovely but colorful bones you see on this page form my left wrist. On Memorial Day, May 30, 2010, while bicycling on Manhattan's Linear Park, I accelerated on a downhill portion of the trail and felt the rear tire lose traction as it hit a thin patch of loose, sandy sediment left on the concrete of the low-water bridge I was crossing. Damn Newton! The bike stopped; I did not. I flew over the handlebars, coming to rest a few yards ahead of the bike, landing my fall with my two hands and my helmeted skull.

The radius of my left arm broke--exploded, as the doctor put it--at the wrist, and the right radius cracked near the elbow. The right arm required only a little attention, but the left arm required surgery and the installation of a titanium plate to secure the bones while they mended. The plate could now be removed, but the doctor advised me not to bother.

Today my range of motion is a little limited on the left hand, but those limits would not prevent me from competing in the Van Cliburn Competition, were I so inclined or so gifted. And although I tried to resume bike riding after my recovery last fall, my wrist was not comfortable during rides. By this spring, however, the wrist had recovered sufficiently and is no longer a concern during long bike rides. And I cannot blame the injury to the wrist for the lack of activity on the blog. I was typing within days of the surgery.


I could call this "steel life", but the plate in my wrist is titanium.

I bought a Kindle. I love it. I'll continue to buy and read books, but the Kindle and electronic books have become the norm for me.  I'll write more of my impressions--almost all of them favorable--about the Kindle some other day. 

Did I mention that I love the Kindle?

My firstborn was married on December 31, 2010. He's a lucky man. She's a lucky woman. They both have taken work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they will have a mortgage, a newspaper in the driveway, maybe children someday--the full catastrophe, to paraphrase Zorba.

At the reception. After about an hour of marriage, Josh and Jaime already look alike.

I have worked at playing the trumpet. I have several brass instruments around the house, so I thought the time to take up playing them again had arrived. The season was winter, windows would be closed against the cold, neighbors would be undisturbed. After a year or so of occasional practice, I'm prepared to resume my place as first-chair trumpet player in the sixth grade band at my elementary school.

Additionally, I've always enjoyed the sound and the look of trombones, as well as their visible physics, so I bought a used trombone on eBay, and I've been making noises with it for about a year, too. I've progressed about as far as I can without instruction, by which I mean that I can reliably pronounce "embouchure" two different ways in one sentence, but I think I will have to bring in professional help if I'm to become merely competent.

Brass life

I underwent a religious conversion. After I baptized a very nice and almost new Dell laptop with Coca-Cola in December 2009, an iMac appeared at my door one day. On this subject, I will be brief because you know how we saved folks can sometimes be: smug, holier than thou, tiresome. All I'll say about the iMac is that it makes one life decision so much easier: I know that when I wear this machine out, my next machine will be another iMac, and my next laptop will be a Mac as well.

The baptized Dell, by the way, became the property of my son Owen, who resurrected it by replacing the hard drive, the battery, and some other doohickey.

Not the Windows on my world, but the Apple of my eye

And almost finally,  I offer once again this photo from June 25, 2009. When I was clearing out some earlier entries of this journal, I accidentally deleted the entry on which this photo first appeared. The garden and house pictured below (not mine, alas) remain lovely to this day, and this photo and this season remain  favorites of mine. So here again I post this photo on its second anniversary.

A garden that I pass on my bike ride to the public library

Did I say that I like large photos?