Potpourri, June 18th (2017 edition)

Image: circa 1952, JES + Dad[Latest in the apparently annual June 18 tradition, of commenting about whatever the heck I want to…]

I damned near forgot what day it was… or, at any rate, that I typically do a blog post for the occasion! (The photo at the right was taken circa 1952, and celebrates another occasion — Father’s Day in the US.) I’m in a much better frame of mind this year than last (with the multiple-hard-drive disaster I’d been grappling with for months).

To get this rolling, here’s today’s strangely apropos poem of the day, from The Writer’s Almanac:

There Comes the Strangest Moment

There comes the strangest moment in your life,
when everything you thought before breaks free—
what you relied upon, as ground-rule and as rite
looks upside down from how it used to be.

Skin’s gone pale, your brain is shedding cells;
you question every tenet you set down;
obedient thoughts have turned to infidels
and every verb desires to be a noun.

I want—my want. I love—my love. I’ll stay
with you. I thought transitions were the best,
but I want what’s here to never go away.
I’ll make my peace, my bed, and kiss this breast…

Your heart’s in retrograde. You simply have no choice.
Things people told you turn out to be true.
You have to hold that body, hear that voice.
You’d have sworn no one knew you more than you.

How many people thought you’d never change?
But here you have. It’s beautiful. It’s strange.

(Kate Light)

I’m so glad that although Garrison Keillor no longer hosts Prairie Home Companion, he’s maintained his curation of the Almanac. I know at some point he’ll have to surrender that, too, and I know that he himself does not personally compile each issue; he delegates that to his staff. But for now, he still does the audio reading of each daily entry. Here’s today’s, read in full:

Whatever else this next year may bring, it’s momentous for me personally in at least one way: I’ve begun to receive my Social Security benefit checks. (I received the first pension check from a former job last year. But I’ll be working at my current job through July 2018, so that’s when that pension (and other retirement money) starts rolling in.) As my Facebook circle knows, but I try to avoid getting into here, I’m unashamedly a leftie; when those retirement funds start becoming available, frankly, I’m astounded that anyone (in the US, anyhow) is anything but a leftie. There’s no accounting for taste or, apparently, for politics.

Next up: my favorite thing about the year 2017 in TV, without question, is the Twin Peaks: The Return series from David Lynch et al. It’s weirder — even much weirder — than the original series, and as of today we’re only about a third of the way into the series… so, certainly more weirdness to come.

I won’t belabor the plot and character details — no real spoilers here. But already the show has contributed one lasting meme to the average viewer’s consciousness: Special Agent Dale Cooper’s visit to the casino in Episode 3. The agent has experienced some troubling psychological effects since the events of the original show, 25ish years ago, and seems to have been brain-damaged; he wanders into a casino, where he observes a lucky patron winning a jackpot at a slot machine. This leads to a series of jackpots of his own — the signature moment of each, captured in the video below:

Let’s try to have a good year together, y’all. The gods know there are plenty of (illusory, in my opinion) reasons not to. But the gods don’t get the last word!

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