Thursday, May 27, 2010

Not Happy Ever After, But Happy Enough

"Yesterday I got so old it made me want to cry." Ben Folds sings these words and bangs his piano keys into my ears as I sit feeling tired, hungry, and a bit (apply Fleischmann rule of ignoring modifiers in emotional contexts) tired. This guys good, yet another young, wise old musician (in the spirit of Billy - "Soon enough it will all be over because tomorrow is today" - Joel, Bruce - "Glory days - they'll pass you by in the wink of a young girl's eye" - Spingsteen, and Bob - "We were young and strong and we were running against the wind" - Seger).

It was a good day. I'm tempted to quote my friend's comment when I once said I had a long day - that it wasn't longer or shorter than any other day. The last time I cited this line dear Pesach wondered what's behind that line striking me so hard. I think I know. I think i like the idea of having a long day and am fascinated by how different people can be. There are 16 possible personality combinations on the Meyers - Briggs spectrum. And yet it is human nature to think there is only one valid personality - ours. We all tend to gravitate to preaching choirs of friends, and of course I do too. And yet I'm proud that the bounds of loyalty have kept me friends with people who live 360 degrees away from my INFP self.

It was, in fact, a long day. Six classes, three Torah Guidance meetings, and I gave the mishmar class after school. that was fun. I like it when my Torah is my fun. I'm not a big fan of cottage industry consumerist fun. Or am I?

I just bought Paul Shaffer's autobiography. I want to say first that I once bumped into Paul in Central Park and he was natural and nice. I like my authors nice. Nice is a yucky word - Paul seems more than nice, real, loving, loyal, whimsical, even kind. And he is talented in a complicated - am I really this talented? - kind of way.

Paul makes no secret of the fact that he had help in articulating his words for the page. It was a smart move to get a writer's help, and a generous move to share the billing with David Ritz. Paul, like many an author I read these days says he grew up Orthodox, attending Congregation Shaarey Shamayim. He says at the start of the book that he feels that he has a lot to atone for and that "to understand that process fully, we must go back to the beginning."

Now Warren Zevon sings to me, "For my next trick I'll need a volunteer." Talk about old souls. When he was dying young Letterman asked him if he had any words of wisdom and he said, "Enjoy every sandwich." That became the fitting name of the tribute album. I particularly recommend Jill Sobule's cover of Don't Let Us Get Sick, which Warren wrote long before he knew he was sick.

Tomorrow is a work day, I need to head toward preparing for another day. Rinse, repeat. I once heard Siobhan Adcock speak and throw that line in as an aside. It made a impression on me.

I hope you (plural) are happy enough, safe enough, and and and.


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