The brickwahl.com universe so far also includes brickpicks.com (culture), bricksbrain.com (cognition, perception and my epilepsy), and brickspolitics.com, brickshistory.com and bricksscience.com.

As 2019 fades…

Never was one for New Years resolutions, but there are a few things. Figure I’d like to accidentally lose another thirty pounds like I did last year. (You lost thirty pounds, the doctor said. I did? Yes, didn’t you notice? Well, I noticed my pants kept falling down….) I also want to dig out the old vacuum cleaner and get it running again. That’s my retired guy resolution. And the usual nerdy resolution that I want to read more books, like one every week or so. I used to, till I started writing too much. And I want to write less, because it fucks with my epilepsy. That’s my epileptic’s resolution. But I want to write better. Always want to write better. That’s my tormented artist resolution. Finally I want to see a fuck of a lot more live jazz. Just because.

Happy New Year.

Perfectly organized Christmas ornaments

Where the Christmas tree was.

So it got too cold for these aging bones and I had the heater on too much and the poor tree dried out and now lies sad and naked next to the trash cans awaiting the chain saw. Always sad, that. I am, of course, organized in my tree stripping and putting stuff neatly awayness. This year, tho’, I’m in full retired guy mode and am reorganizing everything. It’s what we do. As we no longer have to pretend to be manly and virile and too studly to worry about perfection around the ladies in the office, we can give into the inner nerd we didn’t even know we had except when organizing our record collections. So my new project is carefully sorting the Christmas ornaments. Come next Dec 19 the anarchists will tear into them and hang them crazily randomly on the next year’s doomed tree, but that just means I get to do this retired guy thing all over again.

Fyl leaves me to it. She doesn’t interfere, and I don’t force her to be organized. She’s the Indian with the broken Big Wheel in the front yard, I’m the half German with the perfectly organized Christmas ornaments. Fortunately the Irish half of me finds the German half hysterically funny, and gets up late to make fun of him in lilting prose.

Too much writing. Had a touch of that H1N1 going around and it’s fucking with my epilepsy again. Viruses are insidious….

As I don’t think I said so yet, a belated Merry Xmas, all.

Pants

I saw a photo of me from ‘79 and I was thin and powerful and had short punk rock hair and form fitting straight leg jeans and my package was terrifying. I was aghast. I went to work dressed like that, went everywhere. We all did. Those were just typical pants of the time. That’s how we dressed. That’s what we looked like. I can’t imagine how we put anything in our pockets. That was the tail end of the seventies. But the Reagan Revolution loomed, not that we could imagine it then, a decade of repression and forced modesty and loose slacks and no genitalia at all.

Shopping

So we were at Ralphs in the middle of the day with all the old people pushing their carts packed high with cans of cat food s l o w l y down the aisle and are always in the way and it occurred to me that we were shopping at Ralphs in the middle of the day with all the old people. We had a zillion coupons and looked at the clearance racks and bought high fiber cereal. The Life.

I’m not yet at that stage where I flirt with the checker girls. I let a guy explain the grapes to me, though. I don’t know why he thought I didn’t know anything about grapes. But it was his good deed so I let him.

Things going on

Me and Mrs Jones on the radio. Billy Paul. There sure were a lot of songs about adultery back then. Top 40 songs. Every hour there were several singers on the AM radio with things going on, and junior high kids singing along. We all grew up thinking it’s a good thing. Well, a bad good thing. Or good bad thing. The seventies….

Chanel No. 5

The Lyft was a trim Lexus SUV, and we sank into the plush bucket seats with all the legroom as the loveliest driver I’d ever seen led us across town. She was charming and chatty and witty and disarmingly attractive, a knockout, petite and Chinese and dreamy. We rode towards South Pasadena a tad stoned when suddenly and silently the car was filled with the rank and noxious odor of rotten eggs. Just as my eyes began to sting all four windows slid open. Sorry our beautiful driver said. It took me a couple seconds to realize that this extremely attractive Lyft driver had just broken wind in the car, and I didn’t even know that was possible.

Halloween again

So of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of trick or treaters that came to the door in South Pasadena last night, not one was done up as a punk rocker. Not even any of the giggling high school stoners scamming munchies. Punk rock is ancient history to grandkids. Too old. A lot of big inflatable dinosaurs last night, though. So maybe punk rock just isn’t ancient enough yet to be hip. Maybe some day kids will come to the door in big inflatable Sid Vicious costumes and they’ll be adorable and we’ll give them two candies each, one for them and one for Nancy.