Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26: Ridiculous Alternatives, Saint Marty's Day Shopping, Son's Eighth Birthday

Of the two ridiculous alternatives, I rather favor the second . . .

Okay, I am taking this quote from Annie Dillard completely out of context on this night of ridiculous alternatives.  Yes, there are two people debating each other tonight on American television about important issues like terrorism, poverty, and world peace.  Things that are really important for the future of not only the United States, but also the entire planet.

But I am here to talk about the most important upcoming world event:  Saint Marty's Day.  In nine days, people all over the globe will be singing Saint Marty's Day carols, watching movies like Charles Dickens' A Saint Marty's Carol, It's A Wonderful Saint Marty's Day, and, of course, A Charlie Brown Saint Marty's Day

Yes, people, it's time to do your last-minute Saint Marty's Day shopping, cook Saint Marty's Day cookies, and trim your Saint Marty's Day trees.  And don't forget the traditional Saint Marty's Day tapioca pudding (one of Saint Marty's favorites).

That's all I have for tonight.  It was my son's eighth birthday.  After eating about ten cupcakes and a huge Nestle Crunch bar, my son practically bounced into bed.  He had a great day, and he's extremely excited about celebrating Saint Marty's Day next week, as well, as are children all over the world.

Time to light the candles on your Saint Marty's Day wreath!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Setember 25: Morning Mishap, Bowling Birthday Party, Classic Saint Marty

This morning started out a little rough.  Had a little mishap with my new car that will involve some body work.  Nobody was hurt.  No police report needed to be filed.  It was an unfortunate mistake, and I will have to deal with the insurance company tomorrow.  However, I didn't let it ruin the day.  Didn't have time for that.

Just got done with my son's birthday party at a local bowling alley.  As of last night, we knew of only two kids who were going to be attending.  Two.  This morning, two more parents called to RSVP.  That brought the total up to four.  I made twenty gift bags last night, just in case.

So, as we were sitting at a table in the bowling alley, I was a little apprehensive, hoping that my son's cousins would show up soon.  And then little kids carrying presents started showing up.  One, two, three, four, five, six and seven together, and on and on.  We ended up with about twelve kids.  We had to order an extra pizza to feed everybody.

It was a good party, with my son running around with his friends.  He got about 500 Nerf guns (which he requested) and a new winter coat from his aunties (which I requested).  I was simply happy that I didn't have to pay strange kids to show up.  Last night, my son was worried that nobody was going to show up for him.  Today, he had a whole posse.

Tomorrow, my son will be officially eight years old.  The thing he's most excited about:  he no longer has to be in a car seat.  "I'll be a big boy tomorrow," he told me.  He's growing up way too fast, just like my daughter.

Today's episode of Classic Saint Marty first aired two years ago, when my son was in first grade.

September 25, 2014:  My Son, Terry Godbey, "Smelling My Son"

Tomorrow is my son's birthday.  He will be six years old.

That number seems impossible to me.  I can't believe it's been that long since I first saw his squirming, naked form in the neonatal intensive care unit.  He was screaming at the top of his lungs, pissed off at a world where nurses and doctors were poking, prodding, stretching, and diapering him.  Wanting only to be warm and fed and asleep.

He has his struggles now, with kids on the playground, with his own impulsive mind.  But he is a genuinely good boy.  Terry Godbey has a poem about her son that I love.  It's from her newest collection of poems Hold Still.

Saint Marty dedicates this post to his beautiful boy.

Smelling My Son

by:  Terry Godbey

Leaning close to kiss his cheek,
I inhale the heady tea
of crushed wild grasses
and goldfish crackers,
the buttery fragrance
of baby flesh, lingering.

He snores softly,
the sound a dog makes
when someone it loves
gets too near the food dish.
I lie down beside him.

He cried on Christmas
after biting off the head
of a chocolate bear
with a large red heart,
his first taste of cruelty,
the treat spoiled.
But he is a different boy
at bedtime, devious,
willing to do anything
to stay up late, scattering
toys like cookie crumbs.

I, too, was devious,
willing to do anything
to trick my ovaries,
satisfy my craving.

Each night I stand over his crib
terrified the rise and fall
of his blanket
will stop,
remembering all my children
who never got to take their first breaths.

Happy birthday, buddy

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24: Birthday Party, Richard Brautigan, "Storm Over Fallon"

Monday is my son's eighth birthday, and my wife has insisted on throwing a party at the local bowling alley for him and his friends.  That means buying cake and ice cream, sending out invitations, worrying that nobody is going to show up, assembling gift bags.  It has been an ongoing assault for about three or four weeks.

Today, we have to take care of last-minute details.  Pick up the cake.  Stuff gift bags.  I've never understood the whole idea of giving presents to every child that shows up for a birthday party.  I would like to know what brilliant parent came up with that idea.  In my day, the highlights of going to a friend's birthday party were the cake and ice cream.  I didn't expect to receive any present for attending.

Yet, my wife and I cave to the modern practice of gift bags for my son's friends and cousins, because that's what is expected.  And we don't want my son to be known as a birthday party loser.

 It is now the Twelve Days until Saint Marty's Day.  Sing along:  "On the first day of Saint Marty, my true love gave to meeeee . . ."

Storm Over Fallon

by:  Richard Brautigan

Thunder roared
across the sky
like the voice
of an angry man.

Rain started falling,
slowly at first,
then faster and faster,
and louder and louder.

The man became silent.

The voices of the rain
chattered like
little children
at a birthday party.

Saint Marty's Day in Rome

September 24: Lone Sailor, Stolen Affairs, "The Walking Dead"

I am passionately interested in where I am as is a lone sailor sans sextant in ketch on the open ocean.  What else is he supposed to be thinking about?  Fortunately, like the sailor, I have at the moment a situation which allows me to devote considerable hunks of time to seeing what I can see, and trying to piece it together.  I've learned the names of some color-patches, but not the meanings.  I've read books . . .

In the writing of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard had a lot of time to do all the things that writers are wont to do:  go for long walks in nature, research a lot of information that nobody else is interested in, sit in solitude and write.  She filled twenty notebooks with her musings on nature and God and life before starting Pilgrim.  She wrote the first half at her home and the second half in a library overlooked the roof of a building.  No worries about money or health insurance.  Just scribbling and thinking and scribbling some more.

My writing times are more stolen affairs.  In between registering patients and correcting essays.  Before I leave for work at 5:30 in the morning, after I get home from teaching.  Waiting for football games to start.  Waiting for dance lessons to end.  Five minutes here.  Forty-five minutes there.  Sometimes, on a really good night, two hours in my university office with the doors closed and my desk light on.

I wish that I had the discipline to get up two hours before I went to work in order to write.  However, that would allow me to get an average of about three to four hours of sleep a night.  I may be able to do that for about two or three weeks.  Then I would transform into a refugee from the cast of The Walking Dead.

So, for now, it's just tiny writing moments.  Like right now.  I'm sitting in McDonald's, sipping Coke Zero, and typing this post.  When I'm done, I will take out my journal and start working on a new poem.  I have about an hour left before I have to drive my daughter to her dance lesson and my zombie apocalypse of a day begins.

Saint Marty--the McDonald's Poet Laureate.