January 20:
Sitting on the sofa
Puppy on my lap

Just me at home with him
watching the sleek new HDTV
with count-the-wrinkles resolution

Sun pouring onto us this morning
and the Rockies in the distance

From somewhere
was it dusty country Oklahoma
nearly 60 years ago

From somewhere
was it sultry 60’s Houston
middle school in a buckle of the Bible belt district

From somewhere
surely the place – as Molly Ivins said –
that I realized they were lying about race
and wondered what else they lied about too

From somewhere
was it my early 20’s working learning
law school at night
Or my late 20’s moving up to Colorado
standing up in court
conferring in the jails
with clients in assorted shades

From somewhere
it was my personal soundtrack in college: Aretha’s LPs

From somewhere
it was eighth grade class where we read
the United States Constitution aloud, every last word –
and discussed it

From somewhere
it was the place in my heart
those complicated chambers belonging to my father
whose journey ended too soon long ago

From somewhere
came a lump into my throat this morning

It only went away when Aretha started singing
it dissolved into tears down my face


So-called real life

Maybe I’ve run out of things to write about? Or at least things to blog about?

Nah. I refuse to entertain the idea.

But it has been awhile since I posted anything. Since I just had to share what’s on my tiny mind with all of you out there on the innernets.

And I’m not entirely sure why.

Mostly I think it’s because of my so-called real life away from this keyboard. I endured a few weeks of energy-sucking, body-dragging and mind-impairing sickness, and recovery therefrom. Respiratory virus followed by sinus infection, all accompanied and survived by an annoying cough. Something like my normal energy level returned after New Year’s, and I’ve been playing catch-up since then. With work and also at home.

No worries, it hasn’t been all work and no play. I’ve been updating my television situation here at the condo. This time of year it’s so cold here that I stay indoors and watch a lot of TV, and anyone who watches much TV has known for a long time about the change next month to digital over-the-air signals.

On Saturday, I donated to Goodwill the 8 year old 27″ flat screen Sony CRT, in all its hulking wonder, thanks to a neighbor who helped me hoist it into the back of my car. Yesterday, I brought home from Costco a sleek new 37″ Vizio LCD HDTV. I easily set it up in the living room, hooked up to my trusty old digital cable (SD) box and also to the building rooftop master TV antenna. For more than week now, my little bedroom 20″ LCD TV has had a digital converter box buddy by its side, because it’s 4 or 5 years old and needs the box to get the digital over the air signals through the building antenna system. Soon I will have cable service added in the bedroom and upgraded in the living room to HDTV with DVR.

Of course the only part of all that hoo-hah that was at all necessary, was the converter box for the little bedroom TV. The other upgrades were just because I wanted to. And had accumulated the cash to do it.

The over-the-air HDTV programming I’m watching on the new big TV? Just amazed me. I got it working just in time for the AFC championship game. Wowzer. And more importantly, I have HDTV here in time for tomorrow’s inauguration of our next President. I plan to watch that here at home and go downtown afterwards.

Today, it’s unseasonably warm here. Not a time to pound a keyboard indoors. My wonderful dog needs a walk and so do I. Back to real life, the parts of it that don’t happen at the iMac.

The old me is fine, thanks.

OK, people, I read or hear one more iteration of “New Year, New You” and I throw a hissy fit. The world has been warned.

They can keep whatever “new” version of me it is that they want to sell me. In a package of makeup, or a new outfit, or “body-firming” undies, or some other product.

I’ve spent several decades working with, and on, the old me. And she’s just fine, ticking over pretty well, and not in need of being traded in on a new me. Sure, regular maintenance is important, and the occasional major tune-up, plus paint and buffing, but the old me isn’t going out on the lot with the other trade-ins just yet.

If you understand what I’m saying here and feel the same way about the old you, I think you will enjoy this piece just out in The New Yorker.

Unless you traded your funny bone to the devil for a pair of  lifetime-guaranteed-firm thighs. In which case I fear you may post it on the front of your fridge. As an action plan. Which would frighten me very much, so please take it down if I’m going to come over to your house. Thanks.

Full text below the fold in case the link goes kaput.

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