It’s Palmolive Sunday

So it is Sunday. Pretty exciting stuff. But since my hands are simply just a wreck with roughness I am dubbing today Palmolive Sunday. When I was kid they called this dishpan hands. Now I just call it ‘ouch my hands sure hurt.’

I am generally trying to keep them moisturized with aloe, bag balm and vaseline. I am literally giving these suckers a hand bath a few times a day. Thus is the new way of life.

Wealth is a bourgeois construct. I bet when all these kids wanted the Roaring ’20s back they weren’t thinking about this.

Been doing a lot more reading these days. catching up on old magazines lying around and a book on Teddy Roosevelt since he was so prolific, larger than life and had this called, I don’t know, leadership. It is interesting to look at the early 20th century and how it helped define the middle class for later generations. TR wasn’t perfect but you could never say he was dull.

I did some decluttering yesterday. Switched out some CD cases, organized the music collection and cleared out more of the back room. The one great thing about decluttering is that once you are into it, time flies by.

I hope to clear out more of my mom’s stuff this week and start on this one closet. My fear is that after I clean it I’ll end up in Narnia. I also am getting rid of a filing cabinet.

So the basic goal of this is just have a decent extra space to chill. I have this chair that was my by my grandfather’s bed and I used to sit in it while he was too sick to really do anything. The poor guy was pretty much incapacitated and he had to put up with me. This is like 1972-74ish. When he was more functional he was not the biggest fan of small kids so I am sure I drove him crazy.

So somehow, my talky and hyper self was able to just sit and talk to him. I know he liked it and it helped ease his suffering. But anyway, the chair needs work on it but I do not have the heart to throw it out.

I watched Dial M for Murder this week. Everyone in a Hitchcock movie makes poor decisions. It’s kind of sad really. But seriously it was very good and still holds up pretty well. Ray Milland was pretty creepy in it.

Speaking of Ray Milland there was an interesting St. Louis band named Ray Milland back in the day.

with regard to music, there is an interesting band in town now called Frankie Valet. They have an album called Waterfowl that is just terrific. I hope if this all ends that I can check them out.

I also like this Boston band called Vundabar. they have a record out called Either Light that is splendid.

It is their third album and it has some texture and depth to it that I like. I think Montage Music is my fave.

I have also been working on a technical writing project. I love the work but the client is seriously OCD and can’t go ten minutes without asking if I am done yet. Believe me, I love the work and appreciate the opportunity but it is getting absurd. As an FYI, writing about dental crowns is not much more fun than just sitting outside and watching the world go by… slowly.

I think the girl on the 2nd floor has set up a horseshoe pit in her living room. That, or she has borrowed the Clydesdales to stomp around and make noise. That girl makes a lot of noise. Seriously. She has like one piece of furniture and always eats out, so what is she doing up there?

One of the things I have been making it a point to do right now is check in on some folks I haven’t chatted with in awhile. It has been pretty nice.

Patrick Stewart has been reading Sonnets each day. It has been really terrific. He has a great command of language and his vice is soothing at the end of the day.

I wish I liked Picard more. I am only a few episodes in so far but it is not knocking me over.

So let’s talk about kids on skateboards. Back in my day skaters were mostly pretty cool and had great taste in music. I wish this could be said about the no social distancing little moppets down the street who are completely annoying in every possible way. This is not a generational bitching or anything, but I seem to remember kids skating to The Descendants or Black Flag and not any of this wimpy, no aggro, whine pop they listen to now. NO one should listen to Blink 182, much less skate to it.

OK, so watching Days of Thunder was a stupid idea. It is pretty bad. what is up with Nicole Kidman’s frizzy hair?

And what is up with Robert Duvall being in so many terrible movies? He must just like the paycheck.

I also rewatched 12 Monkeys. I have not seen it in decades but I do remember seeing it a few times when it came out. It is still visually interesting but also very much a product of the times it was made in.

However now, the whole damn thing seems prescient as hell.

The St. Louis Art Museum is doing a profile on an object in their collection each day. Even though some it is stuff I probably would not normally look at I am learning a lot.

You can take a virtual tour of their current exhibition,Millet and Modern Art: From Van Gogh to Dalí online.

I really like these two. The first is by Van Gogh, the second is by Millet himself. Check out their stuff at

I am seriously bummed about Bill Withers passing. He had an incredibly amazing voice and his songs are timeless. They are those wonderful types of tunes that can reach out to anyone and really makes their day better. He knew how to craft music so that it resonated with folks. I dare you to listen to Lovely Day and not tap your feet. I wish more people appreciated him because he has a very deep and amazing catalog of music.

Please be safe, stay inside and be kind!

Bleach In Our Time

So, I have spent a lot of time this past week learning about bleach. How to distill it, what not to mix it with, how to clean with it and how to use it to kill every germ around.

My earliest memories of bleach are my parents. My mom was a nurse and always mentioned how it could kill anything. My dad was in the Navy and reminded me to respect it and not go overboard with. He also told me not to let it touch my hands, not to breath it in etc…

But beyond that it was an afterthought. Not anymore!

If that was not enough, having been laid off at my main job, I accepted a technical writing assignment for a dental client. I have a few pieces in the hopper to do but the first one, was of course, about dental crowns and teeth whitening. What do you do for teeth whitening you ask? You basically bleach your teeth. There you go. It is everywhere.

Each day has been an adventure in getting projects done. At this point it is mostly decluttering and organizing music. I have a massive ‘to do’ and ‘to watch’ list.

One of the things I am doing to pass time is look at my collection of art books and coffee table books. I do not have a lot of them and I generally get most of them second hand since they are outrageously priced new. Anyway, I was looking through a book on Art Deco and it helped pass some time.

In case you do not know and because I want to seem cool (not really) here’s a quick summary thing. I know a bunch of my art friends will correct me but oh well.

Art Deco was introduced in Paris (isn’t everything) in 1925 where it captivated the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts. It was a hybrid of sorts of engineering and art that became a big deal in the 1920s and 1930s.

But where this is going to is that this past September I had a friend of mine take me to see her and her husband’s place in Boulder Colorado. One of the big things I wanted to do there was see their court house building. It is on Pearl Street (a really nice area btw) and has some amazing Art Deco fixtures, design and architecture going on.

Built in 1933 it is also a terrific WPA building. The combination of that style with the Art Deco makes it pretty great.

This is one of the first things you see when you go in. it is a really nice overlook with the original lighting fixtures above it.
The front hallway. It’s pretty sleek.
Upstairs hallway by office.
Tucked away in a corner hallway. they use this door each day to lock access.

In front of the courthouse is a really nice fountain, donated by The Lion’s club in 1935. The building has some terrific landscaping around it as well.

When I travel I try to see Art Deco buildings as much as I can. So far, Chicago, New York, Paris and Prague are the best places I have seen it on a large scale. I know there is some cool stuff in Minneapolis.

St. Louis has a lot of great examples of it as well, but sadly a lot of great stuff is gone too. The Civil Courts Building downtown is great as is the Jewel Box in Forest Park.

While in Boulder, I also wanted to see the house used for the exterior shot for Mork & Mindy. I am that nerdy. As an aside, that show got stupid when they had their kid. Even though Jonathan Winters was great, it was a stupid idea.

If there is a video anywhere of Jonathan Winters physically beating the crap out of rich Little please show it to me. I would love t see it.

I was delighted that no one came out and chased me away with a shotgun.

When writing about teeth whitening is the high point of your day you really are a square. Just saying.’

Here is another announcement about the stupid. I am not sure what the girl upstairs does, but she is loud and has a lot of company. She cannot talk on a phone quietly and she has no ability to do simple things quietly. It’s like Paul Bunyan is coming in and out of the building each time she comes and goes. She has cackle that is shrill and she cannot greet her cat without everyone in 10 miles hearing it. My UPS driver noted he could hear her getting out his truck, even with the motor running. I will gladly put up with all of this if she just stayed the hell inside. Now, I have to wipe down the stair railing and doorknobs to the laundry room every day. But personality wise, she is very nice so I should be nicer.

In appliance news, the refrigerator and freezer are really doing their thing. They are pretty full with stuff. I wish I had a massive freezer like some people are getting right now, although for the life of me I cannot imagine putting that much meat in it.

I have been cooking more which is terrific fun. Digging around in the pantry I came upon a bottle of Bayou Fireball I got as a gift.

It is from Louisiana where they do not mess around with kind of stuff. It’s pretty much hot sauce, guns and LSU football. I wish more people in Louisiana liked Fats Domino, but that is not the point here.

Bayou Fireball is a pepper based sauce that uses minced garlic, cayenne and habanero peppers to bring the heat. In addition to the flavor what makes it great is that you don’t need to use a ton of it to get results.

Its big claim to fame is that NASA astronauts love it. So as a hot sauce, I guess you can say it is ‘out of this world.’ It certainly is much better than the stuff they use at Chipotle. Speaking of which, they need to bring back Tomatillo.

I hate to harp on this but, again, the kids are not alright. In fact they are morons. Sometimes I wish I could summon George Raft to give them a good what for.

My hands are beat to all giddy. I have been moisturizing them, using bag balm and other stuff but it still is a real annoying thing. Whenever I see Vaseline I think of the Flaming Lips song, She Don’t Use Jelly. I could have lived without that earworm.

Today I hope to finish a novel and read some magazines I had squirreled away. My sleep cycle is pretty much shot to heck these days so naps are terrific. I am also on a narrative film screening committee for a film festival which means I am going to watch a movie or two later today.

Days of Thunder is on later and I have never seen it.

I hated Top Gun so I have low expectations. Thus is my life. Hope yours is better.