Even if we don’t want them to. Damn! And even if we’re conflicted: relieved and yet sad…
The Cinematic Titanic Newsletter that went out last night:
As we have been adding dates to our live show schedule for 2013, we have come to the decision that this will be our last year actively touring as Cinematic Titanic. We feel that with any project there is a time to move on and as 5 people living in 5 different cities with different lives and projects, it has become increasingly difficult to coordinate our schedules and give Cinematic Titanic the attention it requires to keep growing as a creative enterprise and a business. As a result, we have decided to take this indefinite hiatus.
The last 5+ years have been an amazing opportunity for us all to reconnect creatively with one another and more importantly to connect with the fans of MST3K and new fans of Cinematic Titanic. We’ve had the great pleasure of playing some beautiful theaters around the country and have taken movie riffing to places we never dreamed, like ILM and Pixar, a sports arena, and even Broadway! The love we’ve been shown by those we’ve met and performed for will be with us forever.
We will be performing as many dates as is feasible this year and we hope you’ll come out and see us go at it one last time if we come to a theater near you in 2013. We are still in discussions about the production of additional DVDs and we’ll keep you posted.
We thank you deeply for all the support you’ve shown Cinematic Titanic over these years and we’re looking forward to many great shows in the year ahead.
The CT Crew
It has been so much fun. How lucky am I to have been able to work with some of my favorite – and funniest- people in the world, and make people laugh?!
I’ve been thinking about pursuing further education in something that’s more… well… less… unreliable. I love what I do with writing and performing, but it’s always been feast or famine. And actually, it’s never been “feast”… but thank the heavens it’s never been famine, either.
So I’ve been thinking about something for which there is always a need, some training in, say, healthcare or accounting, where I can get hired because I fulfill a specific, trained need. Where I work a set number of hours with my skills and you know, actually get paid… in a timely manner, maybe even a regular paycheck. I’d have more control over money I bring in.
Sewwwww… With that I’ve been thinking about what I really love to do..
I really really totally really love dogs. I’ve always loved dogs, but I never had one of my own as a grownup. We had dogs when I was a kid. As a grownup I moved around too much or traveled to much to have one.
Then a few years ago, The Husband and I had bought a house and we got Total Dog Seymour from a rescue organization.
I am madly in love with my dog.
There. I said it.
I daresay Husband Ron will say the same thing for himself.
And it’s all sort of… renewed my love of the wonderful beasts. My friends who are dog owners will tell you I’m more interested in seeing their dogs than I am them. And every time I see their dogs, I whisper to the dog that I’m going to take him home to live with us.
So I’ve been thinking about how to parlay that into a career.
The thing is, I don’t want to sweat or get dirty, so that leaves out being a dog trainer. Being a vet tech doesn’t pay enough. I guess I just want to hang with them all day, love ‘em up, walk them, throw a ball, you know, look like I’m in a Pedigree dog food commercial and get paid $100/hour for it.
In an effort to channel all that and not become nutso dog lady with 500 dogs in an efficiency apartment where I’m heating up dog food on a hot plate, if not creating specific gourmet meals for them, I decided to start volunteering at Austin Pets Alive. Their main center is downtown Austin in the site of the old Town Lake Animal Shelter.
This, this I knew I could do – show up once a week or more, take a dog or two or three out of their small kennels, and walk them around and let them sniff around to their heart’s content. Their pleasures are simple and if I can facilitate that, what’s a hour or two a week?
It is very difficult to hear the cacophony of barking. And when I scan the perimeter of the wall of kennels, I hate each and every person who put their dog here, either by neglect or by deciding they didn’t want a dog anymore, or perhaps they just dropped the poor thing off in a remote area to fend for themselves, and they never looked back. Sure, there are people who got in terrible situations and did the best they could under the circumstances, but… it’s easier for me to make a sweeping, un-nuanced judgment on all people.
But I have just learned to tune it out – or try anyway – and go to the dry erase board where all the dogs are listed by name and the last time they got out of their kennels. All I have to do is find some that are walkable, get a leash, walk ‘em around the compound, and just marvel how everything can be sniffed within an inch of its life.
I just keep it simple. And I dunno, maybe it matters to a dog or two or three. And I get to take their heads in my hands and scratch under the ears and make a fool of myself with so much affection. The other night Indie looked right at me and slurped a huge, wet lick on my face. I know I’m “supposed” to be grossed out, but I’m not. There. I said it. I am not grossed out. It makes me laugh like a kid.
I thought it would make me want to take home every single dog I encountered, but, for whatever reason, I don’t. However, I get into a matchmaker frame of mind: knowing what I know about some of my friends who love dogs but don’t have one, I assess a certain dog and think, oh, Malcolm has a lot of energy, my friend the runner would love him; or this dog is middle-age and while still active, is more low key, so my friend who works all day would like her…
And then I lean on my friends to adopt a dog. Because that’s what I want – all those dogs to find their homes, just like Seymour found his with us.
The other night I dragged THR with me, and we loved up some dogs. We came home, and Total Dog Seymour ran to greet us in his leaping, half-crazed excitement to see us, and then just as suddenly, he halted. I felt so guilty as he tentatively approached us, and gingerly sniffed Malcolm, Indie and Buddy on us. We tried to explain that it didn’t MEAN anything, that he’s the only dog we’ll ever love!
So I did a bit for the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival last Friday.
You know, to me, everything seems like a great idea – until I actually have to do it.
I’ve been working on this extended piece that I’m not even sure how you’d classify it – it’s kind of a sketch piece, kinda got standup comedy woven through it with a vague arc, and it’s a solo piece – with an additional actor!
I get excited when I write it and rehearse it and feel my way through things that aren’t working. I’ve been developing it since last January or so, when I did the first iteration at FronteraFest here in Austin. Then I did it at SketchFest and Ladies Are Funny Festival here in Austin, tweaking it, paying attention to what was working and what wasn’t, instead of panicking and running screaming into the night as is my wont.
That, you see, is what I call “show shame.” When I was doing standup comedy in the Twin Cities way back in the previous century, I would never hang with the other comics or go out with everyone after a show. I had to run home, crawl away, and be done with it all. Because it was all too intense. And besides, who the hell did I think I was, trying to be like real comedians, real people, who knew what they were doing?!? Didn’t matter if I had a bad set: I deserved it because I’m a fakir – ; didn’t matter if I had a great set: I’m a fakir and I will eventually be discovered.
Why? I was pretty shy, and I also had this inner conflict that went, “I have a ball doing this and hey, for the first time in my life something is working and people are laughing!” To counter that there was my Midwestern Catholic upbringing: “Don’t draw attention to yourself! Quit being a show-off!” That was capped with my family attitude of “Don’t put anything out there, because if anything goes well or right, it’ll all come crashing down around you.”
Of course, I was really limiting myself in terms of getting to know people, understand what was going on in “the scene”, and limiting myself in terms of taking risks on stage. I was so afraid someone would tell me my act was shitty, or that I was a terrible person or — whatever!!
As I’ve gotten older I still have a little bit of show shame. It’s also dawned on me that everybody’s kinda in the same boat – nobody really knows what they’re doing, everybody’s just trying to figure it out. And my act is my act – it’s up to me to figure it out.
So, anyhoodle, I worked and worked on my skit, as my Mom calls it – “How do you memorize all those lines?!?! My goodness!”
– And maybe, finally, I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world if something goes haywire or I bomb. I figured this out by watching a lot of my friends experiment on stage, take risks, and then, afterwards, why, it turns out — they lived!! So many of my peers had this great way of just taking it in stride and laughing about it and moving on.
As I figure that out, I’m getting more relaxed on stage and having more fun, and, well, moving on. Learning from the experience, continuing to experiment and explore. This piece is a huge experiment for me, it’s hugely risky for me, and I’m having a ball. The audience at Out of Bounds was so warm and welcoming, and it just made me realize how far I’ve come – and how I much I fear I missed.
Some fifteen or so years ago I made this very short film in a film class I took. The class was through Intermedia Arts in the Twin Cities, and it was taught by a very cool chick whose name I forget. She geared the class toward women and the objective was to make a short film – and short it is.
I loved that class, and I was surprised to learn how much I loved the editing process. This was old school: 16mm, a Nagra for sound, and editing using a splicer and taping – and it was so great! I channeled Thelma Schoonmaker as I sat at that editing machine for hours, just for my one minute plus film.
I got this idea having had a conversation with my mother several years prior to the film about makeup. I know this little movie is pretty rudimentary, but I just love it: my Mom is cute and funny, and I accomplished what I set out to do, which is always thrilling for me as I can throw in the towel on a dime, if you don’t mind me mixing my metaphors and making this sentence even more compound! But I did sound, lights, script – everything. It was a personal triumph.
I have never been one of those people who “love life.” I mean, life and I get along okay; I’d describe it as a cordial working relationship. Most times, I consider life an elaborate series of annoyances. It seems to me a necessary evil, an essential framework in which to eat some chocolate, have some laughs, go to movies, and make a little love every now and then.
I think of all that as I look at the date on the calendar. Here it is, August 5. And I think, in the most prosaic of mundanities, Where did July go?
I know where it went: it got eaten away in the acid bath of my anhedonia, my perpetual dread, and in the past couple of months, grief. I lost a beloved aunt in February, and my best friend of some 38 years died in June. Oh, I so want to be one of those people who, in my sorrow, realizes every day is a gift, and every day is precious, and we’re to treasure each day, and all that, but you know what? I’m just sad. And it blows. And I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of my failures in each of those relationships.
Sometimes I think about what it means to choose to be alive and how we choose how we will live. Most of us don’t make that active choice day in and day out. We simply do; we simply be.
So why do we insist on staying alive? This is not a desperate cry for help. I’m just asking, that’s all. Most of us don’t even actively plan to be alive day in and day out. It’s not on our to-do list: be alive. We simply take it for granted.
I asked my brother, who understands these questions and won’t have me committed, what makes him stay alive. My dear, wonderful, funny brother responded to my e-mail with a single word: fatigue.
He followed up with: “I suppose it’s a blessing, or nature’s design, that makes me too exhausted from the whole downward spiral to do anything about it.”
Yep. That’s what it gets down to. Laziness. Sheer laziness. I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been times of deep despair in my life, and I’ve thought about, ya know, not being alive. But I’m lazy. And I already have so much to do. And however fatalistic I may be, I have a strong streak of idealism. I believe I can change the world – to my exact specifications. Plus I’m a writer and writing a suicide note – well, it’d be revision after revision after revision, and then I’d have to run it by some people, including my editor. I’ve no doubt my suicide note(s) would have footnotes, and be stamped Draft #1, Draft #2, and so on, and come with supplemental pages to replace the existing copy.
So why should we fight for life like we do? Why do some people – the ones who seem to get the real curve balls – embrace all that life throws at them? Why do I keep making plans, why should I keep writing things in my calendar, making and keeping appointments, as some unconscious overture of hope? Is planning the engine of living? And the worst part about despair is hope. Sometimes hope fights its way through me like an unchecked weed. And because it is hope, it gets your hopes up – which makes me even madder.
On any halfway decent day I have some answers: I have a feeling that the day after I killed myself they’d discover a cure for lard-ass. On some level I guess I’m not done knowing my friends and family and, well, life. (All part of that cosmic, unfinished “to do” list, you see.) I have no other answers, except maybe that the reason we’re here is to ease one another’s burdens, even when their burden is that they’re a complete asshole.
Maybe one of these days I will tell you about my aunt. Maybe one of these days I will tell about my best friend. I keep having these unbidden urges to call one or the other of them to tell them how awful it is without them. Because they’d listen, and understand. Each of them, in their way, were women who I could just say something, and they’d laugh in recognition, and let me kvetch, and listen, and ask questions, and give me perspective. And those statements are shadowy ideas for what they were in my heart and psyche. I don’t know that I will ever be a good enough writer for that.
This is a column I wrote for Minnesota Monthly awhile back. My point was, sometimes “good enough” is good enough.
You hold in your hand, dear reader, Minnesota Monthly’s “Best Of” issue. Herein is an inventory of things in the state and region which have been deemed excellent and of the highest quality or standing.
Now, I would never bite the hand that feeds me (unless it was breaded and deep-fried), but allow me to submit this proposition: what’s so bad about second best? Or third or fourth or – I should be so lucky – fifth best? Some people never even get that far.
I suggest this as a gal who was 98th best in her high school graduating class of about 204 folks. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be the best of anything. I will never be Miss America, presumably the best of womanhood; nor will J.D. Power & Associates ever award me its highest honor for customer satisfaction and product quality. I will never win a Nobel prize, unless a category for outstanding contributions to averageness is created; nor will I receive a Heisman Trophy, an Irving Thalberg Award, or an Oscar™, nor will I become ISO 9001 certified. The possibility does exist that Mr. Blackwell may name me to his Worst Dressed list, the best of the bad. The list of things I won’t excel at is endless.
And I am perfectly okay with that.
Perhaps it comes along with a culture of abundance in an industrialized, free-market nation. Designating some things the best of their lot is a useful organizing principle in a noisy, cluttered world where so many things demand for our attention. To be sure, it’s a way to cull the herd of everything that pulls at us.
We are also supposed to be constantly vigilant in our quest for superiority in our particular domain. This “quest for excellence” has been imposed on everything and everyone, even those realms which tend to be absolute and have no distinguishing gradients. I mean, how much excellence can the bag boy at Cub really bring to a cut and dried task? I ask, does “pretty damn good” ever suffice?
Consider the possibilities. Avis Rent-A-Car admitted their secondary ranking – and increased their market share by 28%. In 1984, Miss America runner-up Suzette Charles took over Vanessa Williams’ reign after she resigned. Sure, it was only for seven weeks, but it’s more than I can claim as Miss America. And David Letterman, bless him, established a scholarship at his alma mater for average students.
Why, it’s even become its own economic theory. Richard Lipsey and Kelvin Lancaster developed the Theory of Second Best, which describes what happens when optimal market conditions aren’t met. But alas, neither of them won a Nobel Prize for it.
We Midwesterners have an uneasy relationship with “best”: I don’t think we’re ever comfortable with things being too good. As Minnesotans, our expectations have become tempered by being runners-up on so many occasions: presidential campaigns, professional football, the not-quite-coldest place in the nation in any given winter. For myself, were I ever declared the best in any category, I would be driven slowly mad wondering what went wrong in the tallying. I’d start living like Richard Kimball or Jason Bourne, trying to outrun the discovery of my fraudulence. I would never be able to simply enjoy it – the other shoe would always be dangling.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s enough to do one’s best, even if it might never be declare the best. Call it zen, call it apathy (I get the two confused) but maybe the real test is to live contentedly with a job well done. After all, criteria are always fluid, changing and subjective, one supposes – and then what? I don’t want to spend my life watching my back, or second-guessing what “best” means. And I find my compeers toward the middle the bell curve much more fun – they don’t have a lot of motivational posters around with the words “perseverance”, “achievement”, and “determination” bolded and enlarged within a pithy statement. A lot of us have the life knowledge that blustery motivational posters do not: we know that sometimes all the persevering, achievement-ing, and determination-ing in the world does not always determine outcome.
Perhaps I will spearhead the charge for its “Second Best”, “Third Best”, or “Not Bad” issue of Minnesota Monthly. That is, if I still have a job after this.
The other day I went to Cost Cutters to get my hair trimmed. Now don’t y’all go getting up in my grill about how I should to to Mom and Pop, locally-owned outfits. I know. I get it. I do it. Mostly. This time, I just needed to dash in and out, just wanted a straight-across 1/2 inch off, and for not a lot of money.
The lady at the counter asks me for my phone number. I don’t give out my phone number for retail transactions and the like. I know I could give a fake number but I prefer to question the whole protocol. Push back, if you will, if I might.
I say, “Why do you need my phone number for a haircut?”
The woman says, “To put it in the computer.”
I ask, “Why does my number need to be in the computer for me to get a haircut?”
She says, “So the computer knows you’re in there.”
You know when you just know you’re at an impasse and no one is going to get ahead in an exchange like that. And I was just dumbfounded. I just stood there. I didn’t want to capitulate, but I didn’t see any sense in trying to unpack that whole, ya know, thing – whatever it was!
I sat down in her styling chair, and the music playing on the sound system is kinda dance music, it might have been 70s or 80s, I don’t remember, but the lady starts talking about Barry Manilow and how she loves disco music.
“That’s my generation!”
Snip snip snippety snip…
“And ooooh, I just love Barry Manilow! Copper Cobana! It’s a Miracle!”
“You know, I always wondered if he was ‘like that’ – ”
And it takes me a second to realize – or guess – what I think she’s referring to –
But in that millisecond she says, “But no, he has a wife.”
So I say instantaneously, the way the it can come out if you think you’re right or know the truth –
“No, he’s gay – you mean, is he gay? He’s gay.”
Her arms dropped to her side, and her jaw dropped. “What?!? He IS?!?
And then I realized: I don’t know, maybe he isn’t, but just watching him for any amount of time, you think, oh, yeah, of course, but then I thought, well, maybe I’m just buying into gay stereotypes of overt behavior… and… WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE TO HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS?!?
WHO CARES?!?! Why does it matter? It’s not my business! None a’ her business! And yet – I assumed myself in the know about it.
But by that time I was all confused by my own perceptions and homo-normative assumptions and getting my hair cut, and I had to go lay down.
I paid her and she shook her head as she took my money. “Huh. Well, whaddya know.”
My Mom used to call states of situational bliss “Like they died and gone to heaven.” I don’t like to say that too much lately because of the “died” part, but the other day was kinda heaven of sorts for me.
I met my friend RH at the LBJ Library. For years we’ve talked about making that happen. She lives about an hour north of me, just outside Austin, but man, sometimes I see my people in Minnesota more often than I see her! Why is it so much harder to coordinate with someone who lives so “close”?!?!
I’ve been to the Library several times, and I never tire of it. RH has been wanting to go for awhile. Every summer we’d try to make it happen (she’s a teacher. I’m a general layabout so my schedule is more flexible, naturally).
I arrive at the Library a bit early and I think I see RH’s car but I’m not sure. There’s a person sitting in the car and I don’t want to walk up to the car if it’s not her. I go to confirm this, and she doesn’t see me. So I crouch over to the passenger side window, make the most hideous face possible, and smoosh my face against the glass. She’s texting someone and she looks up a bit to think about something, and then she catches me out of the corner of her eye, and freak out!! We both laughed so hard, I almost leaked. You know, there’s nothing like conducting a good fright on someone. I find it so very rewarding.
Turns out the library is undergoing an enormous renovation and the only exhibit open was the Oval Office. So we’re standing there, musing about only having this exhibit to see, when who comes along but my friend RG, who works at the Library. She’s so terrific and I was so happy to run into her. And then she offers to give us a tour of the archives. RH and I look at each other and kinda shrug, like, sure, why not.
Well. It was so amaaaaaaazing. The only way I could describe it was that we each were beside ourselves, going nuts over all the artifacts from the Johnson administration, including paintings that had been done of the President and First Lady; the tea and dish services Lady Bird designed; some of her outfits, including the skirt and top set she was wearing when Kennedy was shot; campaign buttons and other pieces of campaign materials; original documents with signatures of many of our presidents, including George Washington.
I’m serious when I say that I sometimes feel like I have to bring a fold-out cot with me on such occasions. I get physically overwhelmed. Not like I’m tired or anything – just the sheer amazement of it all. (Yes, I know amazing is overused, but sometimes that’s all I have and it’s much more authentic to how I’m feeling about stuff than, say, the word awesome. Ick.)
I became… overcome! Yes! There’s the word! And I just want to lay down and revel in it all.
And RG is so smart and so funny and so excited about the work she’s doing at the LBJ Library. This was probably pretty rude of me, but I mentally stole her career while she was showing us through the archives.
Then we all lunched happily ever after!
There’s nothing I love more than people watching.
So last week I’m headed home from my Cinematic Titanic gig in Ann Arbor. I have a layover in Dallas, and it just so happens that Hubby Ron is visiting his sister in the Dallas area whilst I’m away, so we get the brilliant idea that he’ll just pick me up at the airport and we’ll drive home to Austin together instead of me boarding another flight for the remaining leg of the journey.
I settled in to wait for him in a ticketing area of the terminal. I was sitting in a bank of seats across from the American Airlines ticketing counters, and the place was virtually deserted, save for some idle ticket agents standing around gabbing. A young, visually impaired woman approached the desk, with her white cane in hand. The agents kindly attended to her, squaring her away to continue through security.
To continue through security, airport personnel was summoned to assist her. So a small little man was deployed to the counter. And he looks and acts just like Manuel from “Fawlty Towers.” The fellow descends upon the young woman, grabs the end of her cane and starts pulling her along.
She’s calling out, “No, wait, please, it’s better if – hello? Sir– ?”
And he just hustle-scurries along, ala Manuel, tugging on that cane like its a stiff leash and he’s going to drag her through security whether she likes it or not. And with no one around, I had a bird’s eye view of the whole goings-on. The young woman finally got it under control, but it was one of those awful/hilarious thing that I love so much.
And I do hope that my flight isn’t still waiting for me to board.
This is a story I wrote for The Rake magazine in the Twin Cities a few years ago. I loved that magazine, and they were kind enough to publish a few of my pieces. And I really wish they had Ax-Mans around these parts!!
THE HAPPY EXECUTIONER
Ax-Man Slashes Prices on God Knows What
There is but one person for whom my father might leave his wife of 52 years. Ax-Man. The first time he drove past its original location on University Avenue in St. Paul, some thirty years ago, he pulled over immediately. He becomes radiant to recall it: “I was overcome – I didn’t know where to look. Finally, I calmed down, got a hold of myself and started looking.”
You have not known stuff until you’ve know Ax-Man Surplus Store. More than a surplus store, not quite a dollar store – though a dollar goes far – it’s a little bit thrift shop with some art gallery thrown in. On any given day, Ax-Man is marbles, vacuum tubes, wading boots and crime scene tape – and French mess kits, haz-mat suits and plastic bottles of every shape and size, for starters.
“No one needs our stuff,” owner Jim Segal admits. And yet, Ax-Man is mesmeric, luring artists, tinkerers, inventors, do-it-yourselfers, handymen, hobbyists and the curious to its three metro locations. They are looking for something just so.
Like many Ax-Man disciples, my father is part craftsman, part artist, mostly do-it-yourselfer. The day we visited, there were barrels and bins and crates and boxes of gemstones, wheels, bowling pins, magnets, gas masks, leather scraps, home alarm key pads – and doll limbs of various skin tones. The giant phone – 8’x10’ – is not for sale, but plastic brains can be had for $19.95. There were Beetle Bailey lunch pails if one was so inclined, wrapping paper, and bullets in various stages of rusting. My Pop poked at stuff, bounced small objects in his palm, and examined everything through his bifocals. “Usually I don’t even know what I’m looking for, but if I see what I’m looking for, I’ll know it.”
Sometimes Segal doesn’t even know what the stuff is. His philosophy is that it doesn’t matter: “The customer comes up with how it should be used.” Many items are broken down and sold individually by the component parts. “I love seeing the creative process at work with the customers – when they don’t rely on preconceived notions about what a thing should be used for.”
Segal has a business degree from the University of St. Thomas and doesn’t consider himself particularly creative. “But I like the idea of creativity,” he says. That’s why he lets the staff create the signs for the merchandise, a perk in an otherwise routine retail job, he admits. Art unto itself, the signage usually consists of sassy dialogue pasted onto photos from old magazines. On the shelves that display various mugs and glasses is the iconographic photo of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin seated at the conference of Yalta. Someone’s smart-alec take has talk bubbles emerging from their mouths. Roosevelt: “Can you believe Churchill showed up hammered again?” Stalin: “Da, da.”
Segal, who bought the business in 2001 and is its third owner, is circumspect about where they get the stuff. “Sure, I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you”, he says. This much he’ll say: it comes from basements, warehouses, manufacturers with leftover parts, and trade shows. “We want to give a second chance to something,” he says.
Like flashcubes. Segal describes discovering a pallet of flashcubes at a car parts distributorship, those little glass sparkly cubes used with old Instamatics. Ax-Man now has a lifetime supply. Caught up in the spirit of the place – and a little woozy from the polyurethane gas-off – I suggested over-enthusiastically, “Christmas tree ornaments! Earrings! Pretend ice cubes!” The inventory is peripatetic, to be sure. Ax-Man admonishes, “Buy today, it may be gone tomorrow”.
We leave with armfuls of small wheels that my father will use for the toy trucks he makes for the grandchildren. His favorite purchase ever was a very large porcelain hand which stands upright from the elbow in a graceful twist, perhaps once a glove display in a department store of bygone days. “My vision was to use it for a display for your mother’s jewelry,” he grumbles. But mother was disturbed by the shiny disembodied hand emerging straight up from the dresser like the end of “Carrie”. Instead, he uses it to hang wet rags and gloves in his workshop.
Dusty and paint-splattered from his workshop, my father is still in a trance. Hands hooked on his tool belt, he gazes off wistfully to some distant past where he himself might have been the boss of all that stuff. “It’s a young man’s game, I guess, but that would have been a fun business. I would have loved digging through all that crap every damn day.”