Friday, October 21, 2005

This Weekend

I am in a good mood today. This week we have been watching “Nova: Origins” and that puts The Oil Mafia right in perspective. The universe is thought to be 14 billion years old. The earth, around 6 billion. When they talk about geological time, they use the word “only” in the same sentence as “a million years.” This nonsense with these self-servative neo-cons screwing everything up is not even a speck, not even a ripple. Neither is my 70 or so years if my luck continues to hold out, so come Monday I’ll probably again be railing against stupidity and injustice, but not today. Today I am happy and I’m not going to let those fools screw-up my weekend.

I try very hard not to celebrate Fridays and lament Mondays. I want to celebrate every day. I’m 48 years-old, and I’m realizing that Pink Floyd was right:

“Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines.”

[Incidentally, the guitar solo in that song ranks with my absolute favorite guitar solos of all-time. David Gilmour was all about tone and melody and feel, and that solo brings chills even now playing in mind from memory.]

Anyway, where was I?

I get mildly annoyed with the whole “Not bad for a Monday” and “Thank God It’s Friday” banter that I hear every week. If I find myself at my desk Monday morning, it means I wasn’t laid-off last week, I didn’t have a heart-attack, and everything is more or less ok at home. Mondays are all right. I want to enjoy every single moment that isn’t traumatic. We all know by my age that you might get to a point where you’ve outgrown making stupid decisions that help fate to screw-up your life, but it only shifts the odds slightly. At any moment it could all come crashing down, and should that be my destiny, I want to at least be able to say that when things were good, I knew that they were and I took full advantage. Monday morning at work doesn’t look so bad when you are spending Monday morning in ICU.

Still, here it is. It is Friday at the office. People are saying “Finally Friday,” “What do you got going on this weekend?” and “Thank God its Friday!” and I am all over that.

See, me and the Viscountess are lucky. We’ve been together for nearly 10 years, married for 5, and we are still really close. Even now I think of her as my “new girlfriend.” We are both in the same business, but at different companies. We earn enough money where the list of “things that we need but we can’t afford” is almost always blank. Sure, we got a list of “things we want but we can’t afford” (A trip to Italy via Perillo Tours, a housecleaning service, a wine cellar!) but we don’t dwell on it. We have no right to ask for more than what we have, and we know we are very fortunate to be in this position.

An important key to our success as a couple is that we have similar tastes in music, which believe me is as good an indicator as any as to whether two people are compatible or not. In fact, one of the things that piqued my interest when I first met her was that when I told her that I really liked XTC, she said, “‘English Settlement’ is one of my favorite albums.” Ask any XTC fan “How cool is that?” I mean, if one of you likes Journey, Styx, Kansas and Air Supply, the other one better like them as well, and not like XTC, Kevin Gilbert and Joe Jackson and hate those other groups, or you’re likely headed for a divorce! I’m certain that had she said to me, “XT who? I really like ELO and Michael Bolton” I woulda been outa there faster than you can say “What church do you go to?”

We share the same religious beliefs too. We both are members of our own church, which is The Church of the Benevolent Hedonist. Every Sunday morning we stay in bed and sip coffee while the So-Baps are donning their suits and dresses and rushing off to church in their SUV’s to listen to some evil bastard who lives off of doughnations tell them how to live and what to do. Try to tell me that dragging yourself out of bed on a Sunday morning, putting on uncomfortable clothes, going to some stupid church where you are surrounded by hypocrites who are actually HOPING that the world ends soon so they can be whisked away to paradise while you, a sinner, get to stay and watch the pissed off messiah wreak havoc on your sorry-little asses is better for your marriage and your family then sleeping in, having a cup of coffee together and just enjoying the peace.

Back to this weekend.

We bought a big screen TV in 2000 (you know, the dark ages back before The Oil Mafia restored morality to the office of the president and fixed our wagons good!) when we both were still getting bonuses at work. We upgraded our surround system piece-by-piece since then and we now have a pretty nice set-up. We got this ridiculous big-chair that we both sit in together. It is not a love seat. It is a huge chair that is really designed for one person. We don’t care. We are the king and queen holding court in our green canvas throne. At about 9:00, we pour two ice-waters in our huge goblets (mine with a twist of lime,) and two glasses of red wine. (Usually it is jug wine, but tonight I think I'm going to splurge and buy a bottle of Berringer Knight's Valley Cabernet, probably not '95 though!) She sits there crocheting or playing solitaire on her work-supplied laptop (with Google always just a click away in case we need any information about this actor or that movie) and I have the remotes. To some people, this might seem boring – we might appear to be in a rut, but to me this means that every damn thing is under control and there is nowhere I’d rather be at that particular moment.

As Andy Partridge once wrote in "Season Cycle," from XTC's brilliant "Skylarking" collection:

"Everyone says 'join their own religion to get to heaven'
I say 'well bless my soul, I'm already there!' "

I think tonight we will be watching “All About Eve.” Whatever else the weekend might bring is still an open book, but if I get the chair, the wine, the movie and of course the lovely Viscountess, on Monday when someone says to me, “Not bad for a Monday. How was your weekend?” I’m going to say, “It was fantastic. How was yours?”

Out of context, but this bit from The Velvet Undergound's "Sweet Jane" just came to mind, and I'm just jammin' with this post, so ...

Some people they like to go out dancin
and other people they have to work. Just watch me now
and there's even some evil mothers
Well there gonna tell you that everthing is just dirt
you know that women never really faint
and that villians always blink their eyes
that children are the only ones who blush
and that life is just to die
But anyone who ever had a heart
they wouldn't turn around and break it
and anyone who ever played a part
They wouldn't turn around and hate it
Sweet Jane, Sweet Sweet Jane


Blogger teh l4m3 said...

Not only would I pay to be your housecleaning service, I would wear a tiny, tiny latex French maid's outfit while doing so -- and bend over an awful lot!

2:47 PM  
Blogger XTCfan said...

Testify, Reverend Al! I'll be by for services on Sunday morning.

Oh. Wait. No services! Whee!!!

Enjoy Ms. Davis tonight (and young Celeste Holm ... yum).


2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Al!! I'm really happy that you're happy -- the wine, the chair, the movie -- *the new girlfriend* -- it all sounds just great.

It's not a rut -- unless it is -- you could be in Paris -- and if it's bad -- it's going to be bad -- even in Paris.

I gotta say -- I looooove Friday afternoons at this time in my life. I can breathe. I know I've got a break coming where I can drink the wine, sit in the chair, etc.

I promise I'll work on lovin' the Monday mornings too. Because you are right -- Monday mornings taking calls, being behind, etc. -- and all the stress that brings is nothing compared to the REAL misfortune others face -- that I'm so lucky to have escaped so far.

Get this -- I had to do a brochure for a company in record speed (less than 48 hours) -- no reference materials given to me at all -- everyone's flying by the seat of their pants. I work like a dog to figure it out and get something to them via email last night at 11:30 --

At 5:02 p.m. today (Fri) -- I get an email from the guy who's vacationing in Hawaii. Here's his message:

"Thank you for working so hard on this so quickly. (changes, changes, changes) -- Keep in mind that I need it to read well and flow well. Sincerely, XXX."

"Thank you, Sir! May I have another?"

I don't have to worry about this guy till Monday morning -- this coming Monday morning -- that I'm going to appreciate!!

I'll work on it, Brother Al!!

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and another thing -- I also looooove really good wine. But, it's getting to me lately. It takes A LOT less of it -- for me to end up completely zonked -- and then I suffer a three day hangover.

And I'm talking "glasses" -- not "bottles" -- when it comes to consumption.

My days are numbered with the vino.

Another thing to focus on: Just enjoy the ONE glass.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, Blue Girl, I've got the pumpkin ale to look forward to tonight! It's almost Pumpkin Time!

Oh, you are so right about the importance of similar musical tastes. When Dr. Pepper and I moved in together, we had his and hers Pavement collections. A perfect match. And no one fights over "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain."

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

XTC is overrated, of course, although I like Kevin Gilbert and Joe Jackson. I must confess I am not that familiar with Air Supply, but I like Journey and Styx (even though I hate them) and Kansas, and even ELO.

I suppose that makes me one of the unenlightened.

P.S. You forgot Bob Seger and Steve Miller.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Eidin said...

BG - About the wine reaction, drinking water while you drink wine is important. I notice Al was sure to mention this as part of his routine.

A friend & I took a little road trip last weekend to attend a voter ed forum on the special election propositions (I know - I'm a nerd, geek, political junkie, twerp whatever...) and somehow we started talking about religion. I said something about warning her to my views on religion and she said, "no problem, I've got my own little thing going on." Sounds like a lot of us have our own little thing going on.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Sweet post, Al.

I'm afraid I indulge somewhat in the TGIF thing - I usually need the break by then. Monday's aren't so bad - it means I'm still here.

What I need is a vacation...

7:51 AM  
Blogger jemison said...

The Friday/Monday thing was addressed by Alan Watts well. He said, too many people ruin the moment by thinking about the future. So someone may not be enjoying Sunday evening because they are obsessing over Monday morning.

I also like the PF lyric "shorter of breath and one day closer to death."

1:46 PM  
Blogger Lance Mannion said...

Hating Mondays and TGIF-ing begin early in life. Both our guys are physical and emotional wrecks on Monday morning and grow happier and happier as the week draws towards its close. The whole concept of a weekend may be the problem. It resets the biological clock. Of course, I believe it's resetting it to normal, so maybe the real problem is with the work week.

The blonde and I generally share the same tastes in music, but then every now and then she puts on her Greatest Funk Hits of the 70s album...

Nice one, AL

4:33 AM  

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