Good Vibrations

I’m in a catch-all bad mood today.  There’s no logical reason for it.  Because of that, I’m trying to think positive thoughts.  “Two negatives don’t a positive  make.”  Didn’t Newton say that?

When the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds album came out, I was a teenager and completely bummed out. There weren’t any Good Vibrations to be found anywhere.  It was such a departure from anything done before.  Weren’t the Beach Boys about fast cars, surfing, and California girls?

I almost gave up my Columbia Record Club membership.  Those subscribed to Columbia Record Club knew, it was nearly impossible to unsubscribe.  They’d send more LP’s–I’d listen, like them, and continue.

There weren’t a lot of surfer dudes shooting the curl in Midwestern lakes and creeks.  Side B, the last cut, “Caroline No,” expressed how I felt at that time–and a little of how I feel today.  Sending out Good Vibrations on a gloomy, gray day.

 

Good Days

“Have a good day, until somebody screws it up for you.” What kind of negative greeting was that?  This was a twisted, Murphy’s Law curse.

In other words–have a good day, but be wary, because negative things were bound to happen.   When negative things happened, boo birds of unhappiness, chirped, “See, I told you so.”

When working in sales, positive benefits were emphasized, negative disclaimers mentioned, but de-emphasized.

There has to be a reason to get up in the morning. And, for me, that is thinking positively.

Not that negative things weren’t possible, just that, I didn’t choose to dwell on them.

 

Another One-Horse Town

The most important businesses came in pairs. Two gas stations. Two grocery stores. Two churches.

A grain elevator, pharmacy, funeral home, bank. post office, and an elementary school–summarized the rest of my home town.

All of it surrounded by farms, farm fields full of maturing crops in summer

The countryside reminded homesick immigrants of former homelands.

In my father’s lifetime, some of the older generation spoke with foreign accents.

It was another dying, Midwestern small town. Not that I cared or noticed, growing up.

My mother was an elementary teacher, in the next town to the south. Father, like my grandfather, was a farmer.

The majority, upon graduation from high school, found employment elsewhere.  Some carried on the tradition of tilling the rich farmland.

I couldn’t wait to get away from tiny, Chesterfield–population 300, and shrinking.  Everybody, with their busybody selves, in everybody’s business all the time.  Now, I appreciate the simplicity of small town life–and it’s gone forever.

Waiting

Waiting for the washer to finish spin cycle. This is holding up breakfast. Newer machines with computerized controls are convenient, but more complicated.

This is not about perils of technology, rather about waiting. How many hours does an average person, in a lifetime, spend waiting?
Waiting for everything. At the doctor’s office. In traffic congestion. At the airport.

A fair assessment would be, that at least, half of our lives are spent waiting.  Most of the time, there’s not much we can do.  How we react to waiting–with impatience or calmness, is our choice.  What we do with that time, determines whether or not it was wasted.

Doing Nothing

I’m drowning in old electronics, documents, non-functional yard equipment.  Places to recycle these items, are inconvenient.  If they exist at all, are cost prohibitive.  Recycling should be easier.

Another holiday nobody asked for, is today’s National Nothing Day.  A day, in which to do nothing, for those so inclined.  As if I needed an excuse to do nothing.  Doing nothing is a choice, the same as is performing useful tasks.

My choice for National Nothing Day, is not to participate.  I’m doing nothing.  What do you think of that?

He Meant Well

Not wanting to proofread and edit text, because nothing better was in the offing.  I’ve no intention of this becoming a burgeoning negative diatribe.

What to write about, when nothing immediately comes to mind?  That in itself is a topic of interest to most of us.

Small business names, some creative, some atrocious:  Hair Apparent–a hair-styling salon; A Touch Of Glass–glass repair shop;  Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang–car repair and tune-up shop; The Big Bang–auto collision repair;  So Close and Yet So Far Away–travel agency; Bless My Sole–shoe repair shop.

I recently found out, that one of my great uncles on my grandmother’s side of the family, was a writer.  I read some of his poems, and found them to offer interesting insights of rural life during the twenties and thirties.

Are most writers introverted?  I’ve nothing to substantiate this.  Like in the rest of society, some probably are, and some are not.  For what it’s worth, I side with the introverts.

 

A Horse By Any Other Name

Why was it that some folks frequently butchered names of persons, places, and things?

For example, “Hokyo,” instead of Tokyo, “Thighland, instead of Thailand. An older couple in a restaurant, referred to jalapeno peppers, as “Joplins.” Perhaps, it was a way to make the unfamiliar make sense.

Foreign words are perhaps the easiest to stumble over.  Some French words are a mystery to me.  I’m most familiar with American English–as it applies to someone raised in the Midwest.

Something as personal as someone’s name, could be unfamiliar.  It’s less embarrassing to ask how it’s pronounced, rather than mess it up completely.

Those raised in other parts of the country, called water fountains “bubblers;” referred to carbonated soft drinks as “pop” or “soda pop;” called grocery shopping carts, “buggies.”

If in doubt do as the locals do.  Although, a hardware store caller mystified me, when working there.  She asked for “moronic acid.”  Upon further examination, she wanted muriatic acid–a heavy-duty cleaning product.

Redd Foxx, in the TV show, “Sanford and Son,” called hors d’oeuvre, “horse divers.”  It was comedic butchery, and a deliberate put-down of French cuisine.

A horse is still a horse, no matter what it’s called.  No matter where it’s from.