Listless in Kentucky
Been gone so long the buttons have changed.
Something new to learn that I haven’t time for. That is, perhaps, the definition of our present age.
Not my point.
Every year since about 1987 I have compiled a year-end best-of list. I even did one for the ’70s back in college. I gather in the blur of days that such things still go on here. But this year I shall pass, because I’ve no idea. Or only half an idea.
Finally I have come off the mailing lists, and so I’ve not heard albums by Mavis Staples (produced by Jeff Tweedy), Mary Gauthier, or even the Band of Joy with Robert Plant and Buddy Miller. All things I mean to pick up, but right now we’re trying to winnow down our possessions and get ready for to move into a new house that won’t be finished by the time we get there but we have to move anyway because my wife rented our present house out from under us because a bird in the hand sings better than a broke dog.
Those three would probably be on my list, just because. (The Bettye LaVette wouldn’t be. Not sure why that one’s gotten such good press. I guess it pays to honor the old white guys or something.)
The process was always a little problematic for me, anyhow. Mostly they were votes one submitted one place or another, and so quickly one learned not to put too much obscurity on the list, else your votes didn’t matter. But there had to be some obscurity because the ballots were published in some form or fashion, and without a few random gems on your list your critical acumen falls under suspicion.
So here’s what I’m doing instead: Moving 4,000 pounds of tongue-in-groove poplar, one piece at a time. Repeatedly. It troubles me, late at night, to contemplate that all this weight will be suspended over my head when it’s done. But before that can happen it has to be sanded and coated in two layers of varnish, then sanded again, then coated a third time. My father-in-law, who can still outwork me, is playing lead; I’m rhythm guitar. Best of burden. Whatever.
When that’s done, I can begin packing. And then we can hope it doesn’t snow the week we’ve set aside to move. Along with hoping they’ve got the heat working by then.
More later. But it might be a while. Just stopped by to let you know what condition my condition was in.