Went online this morning to discover who designed the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon, now flying over London.  Graphic designer Matt Bonner.

From the standpoint of a straightforward caricature, this thing is phenomenal.  But then, with the refinement of adding the ‘trademark’ tiny hands and the pale tanning bed goggle circles around the eyes, it achieves perfection.

Generally when we sit down for breakfast or lunch, I’ll flip on the television and say ‘Let’s watch some bad news!’  This morning, we got the opposite.

Watching the London protests, I started to tear up.  Why this particular spectacle has given me hope when other protests have not, I cannot say.

Only one thing spoils my delight over the UK’s reaction to Trump’s visit.

Though from the perspective of protocol, apparently the Palace is doing the very minimum, still the idea of the deranged white trash and his mail-order bride even touching Her Majesty’s hand makes my skin crawl.

Monday, Stephen took me on a ramble.  (All following images clickable.)

When we use the word ‘ramble’, we almost alway garnish it with an accent, as it is a term we picked up from our friend Corbett C, who is a courtly and somewhat inscrutable Southern gentleman.

On a tipoff from friends Bruce & Betsy G, we visited the Kettle Creek Battlefield, an American Revolutionary War site in nearby Wilkes County.  It is relatively remote, and somewhat difficult to ‘acquire’, so the peace there was one of the selling points, so to speak, of our friends’ recommendation.

Here is the solitary monument on a knoll nearby a somewhat token cemetery.  The picture does not do it justice, as it is not as brutal as it might appear here.

Though it may be standard-issue for this kind of monument, ‘picked from a catalog’, I liked the interlaced slabs and capstone construction.  The whole thing struck me as almost noble?  Maybe?  It’s something like twenty feet tall.

My mother passed muster (!) for membership in the DAR, the Daughters of the American Revolution.  I don’t know that she ever attended a single meeting.

Also present onsite is a very large slab, a granite record of the men who fought in this battle, names that could be certified through various official records.

Do you know the term ‘Forties Bomber Crew Names’?  Here is a slice of ‘Revolutionary War Names’, with a single ‘exotic’ blip: Benijah Noridyke.

Our travels yesterday also took us past the nearby house of great-grandparents Edwin Vincent Arnold and Anna Elizabeth Turner by name.  I had never set foot in the house, as it ‘passed into other hands’ a couple of years before I was born.

The new owners — I don’t know how many intervening — apparently people ‘of means’, have restored the house and all the outbuildings.  After I gathered some pluck, rang the doorbell and introduced myself, we were invited a short distance inside.  The interior has been teased well past any state it would have known in its day.  Beautiful light flooding the original switchback staircase, though.

Here is a photo sent to us by the daughter-in-residence, who asked for my email address.  Apparently a setup for a wedding, with a hyper-menagerie of chairs.  The cynic in me thinks this came from a wedding planner ‘idea book’.

We took a [backlit] selfie, but how do you get two people and a house in a selfie?

Vacating my workplace office fourteen years ago, I stripped the place like that gang of women descending on Madam Hortense’s rooms in ‘Zorba the Greek’.

The only things left — rather like poor Madam Hortense herself, lying there still warm — were the desk, the desk chair, and the computer.

As part of our ongoing search to lighten our load, I discovered in a closet the bulletin board which I had spirited away, the push-pinned items on it still in place.  I’ve reassembled on the scanner the mosaic of postcards as they once appeared.  (Clickable)

Clockwise from the top left, Lyle Lovett from the cardboard sleeve in which CD’s once came packaged, woman in flowered hat (Henry Clarke), Andy Warhol giving John Lennon a peck on the cheek (Christopher Makos), This Photograph is my Proof (Duane Michals), three monks (Stephane Sednaoui), David Byrne (Robert Maplethorpe), and Dani et son fils, Paris 1944 (Henri Lartigue).

Turning each card over, I discovered that one was from a gentleman ‘who wasn’t even my type’ upon whom I expended prodigious emotion eons ago.  I enjoyed seeing his handwriting again.

Speaking of which, I wish I could claim good penmanship.  I’m full of envy when comes the closeup in movies of a pen nib working away with not even gorgeous, just serviceable handwriting.

The single good thing about mine is that it is unforgeable.  Yippee.

We watched a Portuguese film from about a year ago called ‘The Ornithologist’ last evening.  The first sentence in the New York Times review of the picture says, ‘You do not have to be a Portuguese Catholic to appreciate The Ornithologist, but I imagine that it really helps.’  The synopsis therein is also a spoilerish leg up.

The title role in The Ornithologist is played by an actor named Paul Hamy.  If you  should ever find yourself researching the subject ‘Dave’s Cup-of-tea’, a viewing of The Ornithologist will be of sizable scholarly benefit.  (Photo clickable.)

While the use the word ‘opaque’ appears in the remarks of a couple of online reviews, I found that I eventually grasped what was going on.  The only part I didn’t quite understand was toward the middle of the film.

It involves two naked men rolling around on the sandy bank of a river.  Here is a snippet of that portion of the movie.  I’ve isolated it, as I know how distracting rump can be, even in the midst of absorbing prose.

I sense a heightened popularity of this post over the recent several.

Professionally, over the years Stephen received endless catalogs featuring the square-cut-or-pear-shaped, many of them more than a bit let-them-eat-cake.

Not long ago, he made an inquiry online to a ‘entity’ called Luke Irwin about a carpet he’d seen, and received without warning this rather impressive ‘volume’.

The ‘parcel’ came via the ‘post’, all ‘Brown paper packages tied up with strings’, and included a nice note.  (And at this point, it must be revealed that ‘Jack’ is Stephen’s first name, ‘Stephen’ his second.  I call him Jack, but you mayn’t.)

What’s this all about?  These days, apparently I’m so starved for manners, I’m fixing on a pleasant exchange over a catalog.

My guess is that you’ll probably agree that there seems to be some sort of inverse proportionality afoot on Domani Dave these days, the less interesting a subject, the more I’ll write about it.  It’s pretty much the same in conversation in person, but I don’t think I’m dangerous.

Dozens of additional malevolent (political) stars crossed in the heavens this past week, whereupon I decided to bid adieu to any illusion that I might have kept of cosmic order, and devote myself to completely giving up.

Following this, two ideas for posts visited my mind; here is the fruit of one of them.  It has to do, I suppose, with the direction the country seems headed.

We have a large (7´h, 8½´w) Biedermeier(-esque?) wardrobe (pictured).  It is impossible to light and photograph properly, as it is situated in half the width of a short hallway, which perfectly suits (pure serendipity) the furniture’s width and depth.  (Click the image to enlarge.)

We received this wardrobe as a housewarming present from a former partner (business) of Stephen’s, this particular ‘former’ not a product of his recent retirement.

It breaks down very cleverly for transport, but we had no idea what a world traveler it had been, until Stephen’s detective work uncovered its original owner.

We are honored to own the wardrobe.  That said, with zero malice aforethought, we fell into affectionately calling it ‘Anne Frank’.  (“That jacket’s in the Anne Frank”.)  This public confession validates my long held conviction that from a public relations standpoint, I am my own worst enemy.

 

Our friend Martin L, whom I mention fairly frequently, was here in town this past week, having driven cross-country from Santa Monica CA.  Yikes!  I believe my own record solo distance is Washington DC to Athens GA, driven a handful of times in the late Sixties in my long departed abused Karmann Ghia.

Day before yesterday, Martin related a piece from David Sedaris’ new book ‘Calypso’, wherein he and his husband Hugh (or rather ‘boyfriend’, as he insists on calling him) decide they will attempt the role of a well-behaved couple out and about, but quickly fail, as one or the other barks, ‘I’ve hated you since 2002!’

I replied to this Sedaris tale (which at this point is thirdhand here, I guess) that whereas I know Stephen loves me, I don’t think he really likes me very much.  Martin responded, ‘Well, you aren’t likable’.  There was no playful retraction, not that lobbing a naughty barb requires one.  At any rate, I tend to believe he was serious.

I’ve mentioned many times that I’ve been diagnosed with ‘Belle-of-the-Ball Disorder (BBD)’, defined in the ‘DSM’as ‘characterized by a belief that one is adorable and endlessly fascinating’.  I’m pretty certain this couldn’t have a single negative effect my likability…

[Yes, I made up this adorable/fascinating business, but you should go ahead and agree that it sounds completely and plausibly ‘shrink’y.]

*American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

This past Thursday, we attended a local benefit screening of a documentary film ‘The Well-placed Weed’: The Bountiful Life of Ryan Gainey’.

Ryan Gainey was a close friend and very obstreperous guru of our own close friend Rick B and his late partner Marc R, who own/owned a large and thriving plant nursery.  Click on the photo below for a short writeup on the film in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Making a film about an eccentric who wants the attention, but classically fears a glimpse of the ‘fraud’ behind the curtain, is a formidable undertaking.  The filmmakers ended up with an intriguing portrait, but one that is more of a ‘quilt’ (that’s a ‘Q’) than something with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Also, as is so often the case, it would have benefited from some (pardon me) pruning.

In the course of the film, Mr. Gainey says, ‘These days, I am more devoted to my past self than the present one’.  Hopscotching through my posts over the past nine years [almost], and certainly the more recent ones, one can certainly see why I picked up on that particular remark.

Though in no way an intentional segue, here is an artifact from my three or four year-old ‘self’, behold Harvey.  I calculate the ‘three or four year-old’ from the fact that my parents apparently suggested the name to me via the 6’3½” rabbit companion of James Stewart in the 1950 film ‘Harvey’.

I had accompanied my mother to what would today be called a ’boutique’ child’s wear store in town, and spied Harvey in the eye-level (to me) glass display case, and said politely ‘Can I have that?’  My mother replied that since my birthday was soon, maybe then, and I quietly acquiesced (‘accept something reluctantly but without protest’…) as was the norm for quality (!) children of the day.

Unfortunately, Harvey has spent virtually his entire life in my sphere, blind with a broken neck.  Early on, I left him on the neighbor’s backyard swing set, and my playmate Virginia’s dog Inky chewed off his plastic button eyes.  Successfully laundered, but his posture was never the same.

This photo was about the best I could manage.  Look, I say take a gander at the original Winnie the Pooh.  He doesn’t look so hot either.

Today, I was going to write about Harvey, who has no last name, but that will have to wait.  He is not, by the way, the ‘pooka’ from the James Stewart movie, though there is a connection.  (To be continued…)

Instead, this time it’s about words, wayward ones.

The previous post’s first paragraph borrowed “them’s” and “his’n” — in a fit of whimsy — sparking the briefest ‘comments’ exchange.  (Click)  Here is the followup of sorts.

In my former workplace, a media production unit on the campus of a large state university, there was a supervisor who wrangled the part-time student employees.  A lovely person and throughly professional, she had the unapologetic and slightly disconcerting habit of replacing saw/took/did with seen/taken/done.  (‘I seen that this morning.’  ‘I taken that this morning.’  ‘I done that this morning.’)

‘Unapologetic’ because it was so utterly consistent, ‘disconcerting’ because she would reasonably routinely have interaction with faculty, whom I would imagine were somewhat taken aback.  Or, maybe this is just a simple case of over-think.  I’ve never been accused of that before…

Whereas I am a self-confessed grammar nazi, I swear my having paid all this attention to this has nothing to do with being high and mighty.  After a while, I decided that in her mind seen/taken/done was just ‘alternate’, but every bit as correct.  I am unaware if anyone ever addressed this with her.

On that last point, when and if you ever notice something ‘nonconforming’, so to speak, about my own English usage, you might just want to back off…

I ain’t kidding.

For thems preferring the beautiful to the vitriolic, here are Stephen’s Rothschild lilies (the national flower of Zimbabwe, FYI) that are blooming now.  I attribute ownership to Stephen, as the things of beauty about the grounds are his’n.

Blooming begins with that green speartip-ish bud in front of the bloom the right, then progresses to the state top-center, and finishes with the bloom on the left.

Click the photo below to enlarge the ‘gloriosa’ of the ‘superba’ therein.


Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but September 2015, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas, as my old friend Susan once said: ‘Compulsion is a cruel master’.

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