Archives for June 2007

Procrastinating Catholic 20 Rosaries Behind discusses Walker Percy’s “New Cure for Depression”

here and here and here

Also on here

What to read next — another list.

Love’s Labour’s Lost in the Cosmos. William Percy

Bri considers Lost in the Cosmos on shyness.

Jerry Seeger, of Muddled Ramblings & Half-Baked Ideas, continues to wrestle with Lost in the Cosmos

motu madness


Me: I would do anything to please you – except, you know, work.

The Wife: It brings me great pleasure when you work.

Me: Why does it have to be work? Why can’t it be my creative dreams?

The Wife: I’m very practical.

Me: What was I thinking? Why did I propose to someone who I was going to be forever disappointing? On the other hand, it makes sense that I proposed to someone who was going to make sure I get fed, since I couldn’t be counted on to do that for myself.

The Wife: You don’t forever disappoint me.

Me: No, not forever. Just regularly.

The Wife: Besides, isn’t that the usual dynamic? Women wanting…

Me: Husbands failing to give?

The Wife: Yeah. Isn’t that how it usually goes?

Ah, l’amour…


From Joseph Mitchell’s famous profile of Old Mr. Flood:

“Here a while back I heard a preacher talking on the radio about the peacefulness of the old, and I thought to myself, ‘You ignorant man!’ I’m ninety-four years old and I never yet had any peace, to speak of. My mind is just a turmoil of regrets. It’s not what I did that I regret; it’s what I didn’t do. Except for the bottle, I always walked the straight and narrow; a family man, a good provider, never cut up, never did ugly, and I regret it. In the summer of 1902 I came real close to getting in serious trouble with a married woman, but I had a fight with my conscience and my conscience won, and what’s the result? I had two wives, good Christian women, and I can’t hardly remember what either of them looked like, but I can remember the face on that woman so clear it hurts, and there’s never a day passes I don’t think about her, and there’s never a day passes I don’t curse myself. ‘What kind of a timid, dried-up, weevily fellow were you?’ I say to myself. ‘You should’ve said to hell with what’s right and what’s wrong, the devil take the hindmost. You’d have something to remember, you’d be happier now.’ She’s out in Woodlawn, six feet under, and she’s been there twenty-two years, God rest her, and here I am, just an old, old man with nothing left but a belly and a brain and a dollar or two.”

Window Sketch

There’s often a special genius in that first, tossed-off attempt at things – the casual sketch, the first run-through of a song or poem. Not to say that things should end there, but often, a certain something gets lost in the polishing that follows. It’s why artists’ sketchbooks are so much fun. And then, sometimes, you get a little piece of fabulousness like this, something that is necessarily casual and impermanent and whimsical, and also really kind of wonderful:

New Best Colbert Bit Ever


I got nothing just now, but there’s a fun back-and-forth about Thomas, Aristotle, and Being going on in the comments for this post.

(The illustration has nothing to do with anything, just thought I’d toss it in to lighten the mood. I drew it for a children’s story my brother wrote years back entitled Raining in the House.)

Korrektiv Driving Tip #43

Don’t try to open a bottle while driving, even if it’s a twist top. Be safe. Pull over to the side of the road, remove the bottle top, and continue on your way.

Thinking of You

There are worse things than employing one’s blog to explain in-jokes with one’s relatives. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. But hell, it’s my birthday, so I’m indulging a bit.

I’ve got something of a grumbling devotion to the Little Flower. She seems to hang around, popping up with rose references in the oddest places, particularly when I’m in the desiring way (as in, “pleasepleasepleaseplease let me let me let me get what I want this time”). A matchbook from The Rose Cafe. Roses in an old building’s facade. A rose stamp on a letter. That sort of thing. The same thing happens to my brother, and whenever we come across it, we speak for Therese: “Thinking of you!”

Of course, she being a saint who was deeply acquainted with suffering, her thinking of us isn’t usually along the lines of “Sure, you want that book contract? Let me double it!” It’s more, “Hey, the cross is the gift God gives to His friends! Enjoy! Remember to thank God for your afflictions! It’s all for your sanctification!” “Thinking of you!” is almost always accompanied by a sort of knowing, winking smile.

So I was going back and forth on which White Stripes album to request from The Wife for my birthday, Icky Thump or Get Behind Me Satan. I finally settled on the latter. And then, this morning, I’m going through the liner notes, and I find this:

So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when, a couple hours later, I heard back from a publisher about my little children’s book: “While I found the premise intriguing, in the end I just don’t think it’s a perfect fit for [our] relatively small list.”

“Thinking of you!”

Abortion Robots

Sometimes, even when they mock you, you’ve got to tip the hat.

1984, meet 2007

It’s getting almost standard. If I attack Third Son in any way – Tickle Monster, Going to Eat You, etc. – and Second Daughter (Therese) is anywhere nearby, he invariably pulls a Winston:

“Take Therese!” “Tickle Therese!” “Eat Therese!”

Ah, the dystopian world of the three-year-old.

Speaking of Artists…

First Son has drawn any number of comics, and he’s getting better and better. One of my favorite things is watching his development in terms of layout – his visual imagination is astonishing. This is the first page of one of his recent efforts. (Click to enlarge.)

Is Your Artist Too Much For You?

Why not try new, lo-cal Artiste? All of the anxiety and depression, with none of the world-shaping talent!

Mr Godsbody: “I suffered from bloated ego, convinced that I was an artist. But now, thanks to Artiste, I undestand that it’s not taht the world doesn’t understand me, it’s that I’m intrinsically unintelligible! Thanks, Artiste!”

Artiste: Because the world has more than enough of your kind.