"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Friday, January 28, 2005
li-ba-tion Function: noun
Etymology: Latin libation-, libatio, from libare to pour as an offering; akin to Greek leibein to pour
1 a : an act of pouring a liquid as a sacrifice (as to a deity) b : a liquid (as wine) used in a libation
2 a : an act or instance of drinking often ceremoniously b : BEVERAGE; especially : a drink containing alcohol
3 : something I used to participate in, to great excess
Have you ever noticed that when you ask directions, people give you an insight into themselves?
For example, I used to work with a woman who was quite overweight and really enjoyed eating out. Her directions would be something like "Go down 1st street until you come to the red light just past McDonalds, then turn left until you get to Friday's, then turn right and look for a Chinese restaurant on the right..." and so forth.
On the other hand, a businessman might say, for the same directions, "Go to the corner of 1st and Main, and turn left by the Bank of America. Keep going until you come to Harvard Realty..." and so on.
And a trucker, he is likely to give you highway numbers and major route names.
Our memories are stored the same way, I think. When I think back to times long past, I find that my memory is very selective.
I can't tell you a single team that won the Superbowl in the eighties, but I can recite songs I wrote or sang in the late seventies.
I have great problems remembering people I went to high school with, unless they were people that I dated or were very close friends. Same goes for college. Now, my father (who still lives in that town) not only seems to remember all four thousand people I went to school with, but their entire family trees. Oh, he sold insurance.
I can't tell you but maybe one or two classes I took in my sophomore year of college, but I can tell you what my favorite beer was and what bottles were in my liquor cabinet that year.
So, I guess, to me the important things at that time were wine, women and song. And not necessarily in that order.
One of the best places I knew of to get all of those was a bluegrass bar in Greenville named Dino's. In late 1979 they were in their heyday, and would be full almost every night. A lot of nights I would contribute to that.
They had an awesome house band named the "Stoney Creek String Band." Guitars, banjos, drums, bass and a female vocalist that could just about break glass when she wanted to.
They really knew how to play a crowd too, and frequently people would get up and do a dance from Appalachia called "clogging." For those of you who haven't seen people clogging, its sort of a cross between a stomp and a riverdance, with beer.
Occasionally, people would get so riled up that they would clog on the tables. But only the littler people did that. I did my own share of clogging there, but never was a table clogger.
Used to pick 'em up though. After my experience as an entertainer, those poor drunk girls were like shooting ducks in a barrel. And, as usual, I didn't want that portion of my life to overlap with my "real" life, which was across town at school, so these "in town" girls were perfect for me.
I remember one waitress in the club, a striking redhead that I never had the chance to date. I think her name was Amy. I ended up writing a song about her.
Dino's had this big biker guy that worked as the bouncer and the door keeper, and he would sit up by the door looking all mean in his big black beard and bushy eyebrows.
So this night Amy was waiting tables, and the place was jammed full of people. Most of Amy's job involved carrying huge pitchers of beer back and forth, and that's what she had on her tray.
Which unfortunately was over some guy who decided it was the right time to leap up from his chair.
The full pitcher went flying, and landed square on the bouncer's head like a hat. The entire pitcher of ice cold beer drenched him from head to toe.
The whole room fell instantly silent and froze. Amy looked like she was breathing her last breath.
Then, a low chuckle.
And a bigger one.
And the bouncer began to laugh.
Quietly at first, then quickly into a guffawing belly laugh. He thought the whole thing was hilarious! He let loose one of those laughs that are so intense that your eyes close and you squint so that tears run down your face. Which in his case mixed with the beer.
Amy had the expression of a prisoner at the gallows who just got a reprieve call. She sat down at the nearest table to catch her breath and let her heartbeat return to normal. The rest of us were too busy laughing.
Oh, make that laughing with the bouncer.
Never at. Never.
So I frequented the bar, and picked up girls, and drank far too much beer, and enjoyed the music.
Until one night.
The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken.
--Homer, The Odyssey