Down by LBL area . We have been to the cemetery in Louisville it is indeed very pretty. Have a great trip LB!
been working our butts off on the new house…will post pics someday
i finally finished the flooring! my youngest has her bedroom all nice and set up, i installed her vanity, faucet, mirror, new lights, new ceiling fan, new toilet and she is in heaven
labor day headed out for my first and only hike this summer/fall and taking sophia w/ me and a bunch of my friends and my uncle and cousin.
then, in 3 weeks, you all won’t hear from for a while…i’ll be in Canada for two weeks fly fishing!
Enjoy the fishing. Envious of your travel and wide open spaces.
I’m heading to Nashville in a few hours. We’re seeing Widespread Panic acoustic tonight at The Ryman! ️
my weekend(s) and weeks in sask were amazing…
wrote this for jeffry and today is 4 years since his passing…
This weekend I’ll hop in my truck, drive straight north to Black Diamond, Alberta and from there I’ll meet our dear friend Jarrett and his family.
You see, this trip has been in the making for years. It started like anything ever starts: with a 6 pack of Kokanee and a soft couch and with the slightest of thoughts it slowly churned its way into something that might look like reality. Then, abruptly, we lost Jeffry and that reality was forever altered.
This weekend marks the fruition of this new reality. Where, instead of Jeffry, I am headed to meet Jarrett at his home and from there we pack up and head to Northeastern Saskatchewan (say that 7 times really fast with a good buzz) and fly fish for what Jarrett is calling the Grand Slam of Sask fishing: Pike, Lakers, Grayling, and Walleye. I told him we need another trout variety and so we will be on the search for Splake/Tiger trout as well. We will drive 20 hours one way to Points North Landing, set up a wall tent and from there seek out navigable and wadable waters in the search of a 40-inch pike. We will eat countless Ketchup Potato Chips (don’t worry, I’m bringing some back to the States), Canadian Cheetos called “Cheezies” and eat at least one Coffee Crisp candy bar per day (Jeff’s favorite). For two weeks we’ll be up there. There’s a Boreal Forest, a Taxidermy Museum complete with a gopher diorama (no shit!) and miles and endless miles of wind scorched prairie and pristine fish-filled lakes. Molson Canadian is the unofficial sponsor and amongst the 4-page Excel spreadsheet Jarrett made for our “gear list” we will adorn our “clever hats” upon our heads. As for the menu plan, it wouldn’t be a proper Canadian fishing trip without a fish fry, and so, we plan to bring at least a gallon of Canola Oil, breadcrumbs, pancake batter, and seasonings. Bacon, hash browns, bagels, cheeses, and Bloody Mary’s for breakfast. Beer for lunch and God knows what we’ll have for dinner. We will let the day take us where it chooses. This new reality includes the obligation, as Jeff would have it, to buy postcards for family and friends and, if money will have it, a shit ton of bumper stickers. I already have one for Jarrett’s truck: “FOR A SMALL TOWN, THIS ONE SURE HAS A LOT OF ASSHOLES.”
If gravity is the curvature of time and space, and most scientists feel comfortable with their mastery of gravity (we can send shit to Mars and send a 20 ton chunk of metal in the sky with 300 passengers) then how is it, curves and all, does it feel more like a fucking roller coaster? Huge arcs into the highs of life and then swooping and crushing my guts back into my throat on the way back down…we resist and then finally, succumb to gravity. There is no escaping it. There is no backing out, opting for a mulligan, nor can we hop in a time machine…There’s no “Be kind, Rewind” for life. Time ONLY goes one direction: straight-fucking-forward…unless, theoretically, a human can be weightless and thus moving as fast as the speed of light—all time stops.
Which leads me to my next thought…It wouldn’t be a road trip without some really great and necessary tunes, podcasts, and comedy (Chappelle, Williams, Pryor, et al).
Songs are our map to the past. I remember in high school, Mrs. Nelson passing around popsicle sticks with certain scents on them. She told us that those smells elicit past memories. Maybe the smell of cinnamon would remind us of a day spent baking with your grandma, or the smell of fresh-cut grass could trigger the memory of an 8-year-old-self chasing grasshoppers in their backyard. From that moment on I started using forms of association to engrain certain drops of time into my memory bank.
One day in Scotland, Heather and I were walking on this long beautiful stretch of beach. I thought to myself then that I love this moment so much and I just want it to live on forever. I want the Earth and time to stand still just for me so I can perfectly embrace and recall every detail . . . studying the grains of sand, the polished stone, the smell of salted sea foam, the sound of seagulls crying in the wind and walking alongside my most favorite human being. I picked up a smooth round stone and forced my memory inside of it. Holding that stone and squeezing it as if I could crush it and forced my memory to its touch. I can still grab that rock today and be transported to that beach. Music is like that. It’s like a time machine for me. I think it’s like that for a lot of us. It stirs the emotions. I hate the song “Tub Thumping” but it brings back a memory of my old tan Subaru and my buddy Brian Bartlett playing it on repeat during prom night and Heather and Angela singing along. The song “Ocean Front Property” immediately transports me to Hamby Lake road, bouncing on boulders in our trucks and pounding flat, lukewarm beer. There’s no song I don’t hear and have a memory for. Now, I spend time trying to remember spots of time for Jeffry. All of our songs laid out like a map to our being kids, teenagers, young adults, adults, marriage, the births of our children, float trips, fishing trips, hiking trips, skiing trips, and deaths. Songs heal and they make us feel. They make us cringe, cry, smile, reflect, sway our hips, tap our toes, and best of all they bring us together in a collective memory for the gravity ride we are on—for any given moment. You can hear a song and be a kid again; you can relish in that slide guitar solo that you so fondly appreciate or have a bit of jealousy in a set of really well laid out lyrics. And, anytime Garth’s “Much Too Young, To Feel This Damn Old” comes on, I tear up, force a grin and remember my brother and squeeze that stone and go back in time. Fuck you gravity.
Your writing always gets to me, Rod.
I saw Joker last night; was such a great film. I highly recommend it. A disturbing, slow-burning kind of movie.
I saw it too. It’s a very important movie, especially in the current American climate.
Certainly agreed; I thought it was really well done. It’s been quite divisive among critics it seems in terms of reacting to that discussion; though I’d say they’re missing the message of what the movie was trying to get across with respect to mental illness and people’s inability to help them and/or not caring, and injecting their own narrative – but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by that.
By MICHAEL MOORE Re Joker
On Wednesday night I attended the New York Film Festival and witnessed a cinematic masterpiece, the film that last month won the top prize as the Best Film of the Venice International Film Festival. It’s called “Joker” — and all we Americans have heard about this movie is that we should fear it and stay away from it. We’ve been told it’s violent and sick and morally corrupt — an incitement and celebration of murder. We’ve been told that police will be at every screening this weekend in case of “trouble.” Our country is in deep despair, our constitution is in shreds, a rogue maniac from Queens has access to the nuclear codes — but for some reason, it’s a movie we should be afraid of.
I would suggest the opposite: The greater danger to society may be if you DON’T go see this movie. Because the story it tells and the issues it raises are so profound, so necessary, that if you look away from the genius of this work of art, you will miss the gift of the mirror it is offering us. Yes, there’s a disturbed clown in that mirror, but he’s not alone — we’re standing right there beside him.
“Joker” is no superhero or supervillain or comic book movie. The film is set somewhere in the ‘70s or ‘80s in Gotham City - and the filmmakers make no attempt to disguise it for anything other than what it is: New York City, the headquarters of all evil: the rich who rule us, the banks and corporations for whom we serve, the media which feeds us a daily diet “news” they think we should absorb. This past week, a week when a sitting President indicted himself because, in true Joker style, he was laughing himself silly at Mueller’s and the Dems’ inability to stop him, so he just quadrupled down and handed them everything they needed. But even then, after ten days of his flaunting his guilt, he was still sitting with his KFC grease-stained nuclear codes in the Oval Office, so he told
Captain Sketchy to fire up the helicopter, the sound of its blades revving up, meant only to alert the reporters to scurry outside for the daily “press conference” — Trump walks outside into the deafening cacophony of the whirlybird and publicly and feloniously asks the Peoples Republic of China to interfere in our 2020 election by sending him dirt on the Bidens. He and his magic carpet of hair then walked away and, other than the citizen howls of “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!”, nothing happened. As “Joker” opens this weekend, Joker, Jr. Is still still sitting at John F. Kennedy’s desk in the Oval Office on the days he shows up to work, dreaming of his next conquest and debauchery.
But this movie is not about Trump. It’s about the America that gave us Trump — the America which feels no need to help the outcast, the destitute. The America where the filthy rich just get richer and filthier.
Except in this story a discomfiting question is posed: What if one day the dispossessed decide to fight back? And I don’t mean with a clipboard registering people to vote. People are worried this movie may be too violent for them. Really? Considering everything we’re living through in real life? You allow your school to conduct “active shooter drills” with your children, permanently, emotionally damaging them as we show these little ones
that this is the life we’ve created for them. “Joker” makes it clear we don’t really want to get to the bottom of this, or to try to understand why innocent people turn in to Jokers after they can no longer keep it together. No one wants to ask why two smart boys skipped their 4th-hour AP French Philosophy class at Columbine High to slaughter 12 students and a teacher. Who would dare ask why the son of a vice-president of General Electric would go into Sandy Hook Elementary in
Newtown, CT and blow the tiny bodies apart of 20 first-graders. Or why did 53% of White women vote for the presidential candidate who, on tape, reveled in his talent as a sexual predator?
The fear and outcry over “Joker” is a ruse. It’s a distraction so that we don’t look at the real violence tearing up our fellow human beings — 30 million Americans who don’t have health insurance is an act of violence. Millions of abused women and children living in fear is an act of violence. Cramming 59 students like worthless sardines into classrooms in Detroit is an act of violence.
As the news media stands by for the next mass shooting, you and your neighbors and co-workers have already been shot numerous times, shot straight through all of your hearts and hopes and dreams. Your pension is long gone. You’re in debt for the next 30 years because you committed the crime of wanting an education. You have actually thought about not having children because you don’t have the heart to bring them onto a dying planet where they are given a 20-year death-by-climate-change sentence at birth. The violence in “Joker”? Stop! Most of the violence in the movie is perpetrated on the Joker himself, a person in need of help, someone trying to survive on the margins of a greedy society. His crime is that he can’t get help. His crime is that he is the butt of a joke played on HIM by the rich and famous. When the Joker decides he can no longer take it — yes, you will feel awful. Not because of the (minimal) blood on the screen, but because deep down, you were cheering him on - and if you’re honest when that happens, you will thank this movie for connecting you to a new desire — not to run to the nearest exit to save your own ass but rather to stand and fight and focus your attention on the nonviolent power you hold in your hands every single day. Thank you Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips, Warner Bros. and all who made this important movie for this important time. I loved this film’s multiple homages to Taxi Driver, Network, The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon. How long has it been since we’ve seen a movie aspire to the level of Stanley Kubrick? Go see this film. Take your teens. Take your resolve.
I will be trail running overnight next Friday to assist a friend in his preparation for a 100 mile ultra race in November. I plan on running 30-40 miles with him, and he will be doing 64 miles. You need someone to run with you overnight to keep you oriented and out of the spirit world. To think, we used to use drugs…