Smalley’s Pirate Barbeque, Stillwater, MN
Its been four years since I’ve retired. Of late, a few trends in my life have emerged, nothing earth-shaking, but there are definitely some new directions. For one thing, my musical tastes have changed—I’m not nearly as interested in Pop Music (although I think that might be that Pop Music is not interested in me.) It is really evident when I’m out somewhere (restaurant, stores, etc.) where the inanity and vapidness of modern songwriting becomes inescapable (and indigestable.) It isn’t only new music, there’s plenty of dross in all eras, I even went so far as to give away my ENTIRE vinyl collection (to a worthy cause—the legendary scenester David Foley.) My CD collection is always being pruned, if I don’t listen to something in it every couple of years, its gone. Physical storage has undergone massive changes in the last twenty years. I can foresee the day when all my music will be contained on one 32 gig USB stick. TV and Movies are fading in importance, although I must admit that Miss Fisher (Australian murder mysteries) and Portlandia, are guilty pleasures (best taken in small doses.) The Great British Baking Show is an especially delicious form of pornography.
The contents of my bookshelves have become more rarefied as well, with its big Icelandic section (much of it reference for the Laxness in Translation blog), Robert Benchley, Wanda Gág, Frank Lloyd Wright as well as asmaller variety of curiosities. I’ve given several of my books to the “Little Library” that is in front of the Methodist Senior Living complex in town. I like to think that some of the residents there are reading them, although I fear that some of the newer books are being taken by people who will resell them and never even read one. Because I’ve never warmed up to eBooks, I think the bulk of my ‘real’ books are safe for now.
These acts of giving helps to keep me from becoming embittered. The world doesn’t need any more cranky old white men, the ones we now have in positions of power are perfect demonstrations of rising above one’s level of competence. Spring is here, the gardens await, my serial fiction is challenging, and some summer trips have been planned. I’m not quite a grizzled curmudgeon yet. Although my mien can be scary at times, I’m not yet at the point of the chalky dude pictured above.