Loose Ends

(I find myself unexpectedly on the road this week, away from my usual resources. I am using a very old borrowed Acer to post this old entry from 2011. I hope things will be back to normal soon. — JJ)

Baudelaire said that genius is the ability to recapture childhood at will. Now, I’m not going to claim I’m a genius; in fact, I’m going to claim I’m not, but I think I know what ol’ Bodey was getting at. When I was starting out I used a lot of my own childhood memories and experiences to write for Gene. When I drew this, I was remembering the sensation of my mother or a teacher poking in my shirttail and how unnatural it could feel. That’s a pretty small memory! I don’t think I’d draw this cartoon today, simply because so many of those vivid recollections have faded away. They’re not so easily captured anymore.
Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

63 responses to “Loose Ends”

  1. I hate to break it to you Jimmy, but this sorta’ is your normal! And we wouldn’t have it any other way (although I imagine you wouldn’t prefer a bit less distraction).

  2. If you have access to today’s Plugger cartoon I gahr-oon-tee that you will relate. I don’t think I’ve ever referred you guys to another toon but even JJ will like this one.

  3. Just click on today’s cartoon by Gary Brookins. Be sure to click on the blue strip under the toon that says “read more” or you won’t be able to see all of it.

  4. I stopped trusting my memories of my childhood a long time ago as I began to realize just how often my memory was wrong.

    I decided that most of my childhood memories are accidental lies that I have told myself.

    All of which leads to this line of mine: Of all the lies I’ve told, I like the ones I’ve told to myself the best.

  5. Rick
    If you want to know if your memory is accurate just repeat it in front of your wife
    or mother.

    There is a famous duet on that subject.

    We met at nine, we met at eight, I was on time, no, you were late
    Ah, yes, I remember it well
    We dined with friends, we dined alone, a tenor sang, a baritone
    Ah, yes, I remember it well
    That dazzling April moon, there was none that night
    And the month was June, that’s right, that’s right
    It warms my heart to know that you remember still the way you do
    Ah, yes, I remember it well
    How often I’ve thought of that Friday, Monday night
    When we had our last rendezvous
    And somehow I foolishly wondered if you might
    By some chance be thinking of it too?
    That carriage ride, you walked me home
    You lost a glove, aha, it was a comb
    Ah, yes, I remember it well
    That brilliant sky, we had some rain
    Those Russian songs from sunny Spain
    Ah, yes, I remember it well
    You wore a gown of gold, I was all in blue
    Am I getting old? Oh, no, not you
    How strong you were, how young and gay
    A prince of love in every way
    Ah, yes, I remember it well

    Songwriters: Alan Jay Lerner / Frederick Loewe
    I Remember It Well lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

  6. By the beginning of the second line, I’d recognized the song and was picturing the two singers. Not to brag, but it’s hard to get wrong if you’ve ever seen the movie. And, there’s another song in there that’s probably Maurice Chevalier’s most famous. I’ll not name it because I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about.

    In the movie Monkey Business, each of the Marx Brothers claims to be Chevalier to get off of an ocean liner they’d stowed away on and pretend to sing one of his songs. The only one that succeeds is Harpo, at least until the gramophone strapped to his back runs down.

  7. I started a Facebook post today by asking question “Has any song or music brought you to tears?”

    It ended being like the days of the old Village with all of us contributing music of such wonderful diversity. I ended up listening to music all afternoon. Many were songs I already knew but many artists and songs were new.

    When I joined the Village it was listening to music suggested here that broadened my knowledge of so much, especially rock and folk I had missed.

    Just in case any of you are on Facebook we talk about “stuff” on my page Jackie Monies. I can’t get Ghost on FB.

    Or we could restore the Village and the orphans return.

  8. Sideburns you are assuming all of us here have seen Gigi and Chevalier. There may be some on here under Medicare age?

    But I admit to having danced to Glenn Miller Orchestra minus Glenn in 1950s.

  9. Actually, Jackie, that’s not an assumption I’d make most places; on Slashdot, for example, I’d assume that most of the readers had never heard of the movie, let alone seen it, because the culture there doesn’t exactly encourage people to know about anything older than they are. Here, I know that the regulars are at least familiar with our artistic heritage and can understand and enjoy such things. It’s a matter of fitting the comments to the audience.

  10. Old Bear:

    You are exactly right about wives and mothers – and, by extension – most females.

    A couple of years ago on NPR, I listened to a piece about women’s greater ability to remember conversations from decades ago with incredible precision.

  11. There are some childhood memories that are so indelibly fixed into my mind that I don’t believe I’ll ever forget them. An example is once when I was a child, and we were returning from an out-of-town weekend visit with my father’s brother and his family. I had fallen asleep in the backseat of our car and came half awake to find that we had arrived at home late Sunday night, and Daddy was carrying me into the house in his arms. I have never felt more safe, protected and loved.

    That memory returned to me the night that he died. I shall not be at all surprised if it visits me when I’m on my own deathbed.

  12. Ghost:

    Both of my parents are gone. So is my only sibling. I’m the only one left.

    Others might laugh at what I am about to write, but I don’t care.

    They are with us now. Usually, we can’t perceive them. But they are here.

  13. Commenting for Ghost, Rick. You are identical. He has lost his only sister, mom and dad. No children for either, just a few older cousins in distant states.

    I think he would not laugh at all. I don’t.

  14. Things I remember clearly from early years before age seven and my mother remarrying involve my mother mostly, although raising me seems to have been a joint project of many. Grandparents, unmarried aunts, farm hands, house keepers

    We were very poor but I did not realize it for I had a lot of love.

  15. Jackie and Ghost:


    Also, I want to mention that I have quite a few memories from age two on.

    Both Mom and Dad confirmed that my memories were completely accurate.

    I had fantastic, loving parents. They didn’t deserve the son that I became for a while. I was an idiot. Those memories are far too clear.

  16. Ghost and I got up at 4.30 a.m. to go to Tulsa in steady rain. Today I began my new injectionable chemotherapy treatment, yesterday we began the daily radiation for my metastatic breast cancer that has appeared in my left leg.

    It is sobering to realize that I will never be cancer free, never go into remission. I will be in treatment for cancer every day until I die, an unending ode not to cancer but to the strides being made in treating cancer.

    A few years ago I would have been considered terminal, given no more than six months to live, told to begin putting my affairs in order. Now they can slow or stop the spread, prolong the lives of a lucky few. Offer a chance at a higher quality of life.

    This morning I held a man in my arms as he cried, held his hand as he tried to be brave. We had never met but he had just been told he was facing death. A Vietnam vet, he said he had never feared death before. He had no one.

    No matter how dark the paths are I know Ghost is with me. Without him I would be that man. Ghost holds my hand.

    I told my new friend that real men cried, it was not a sign of weakness, not to feel ashamed. But I know my dark angel is supporting me. I have only cried once as we fight for my life. “Never surrender. ” Ghostly coat of arms.

  17. Jackie, this is still the Village, and we share light-hearted things and serious things too. Whatever life is throwing at our fellows here, we want to know and to feel that we are helping in some way. You are so brave, Jackie, and still so happy to help others! You are a shining example to us weaker people. May we step up when we are needed.

  18. I got a surprise this morning. When I opened the blinds to check the weather, there was a cat sitting on the rail around my porch. He looked like he was trying to find a way to get on the second floor deck above me. After checking it out, he left.

  19. Ditto to what Charlotte said. I know I do not post much – evidently this is one woman that doesn’t have a lot to say! But I read every day… rejoice for the good news… pray for the not-so-good news… we are family.

  20. One more post about lies that I tell myself –

    A long time ago, it occurred to me that the power that I want least to have is the ability to read others’ minds, and that realization led to this line of mine:

    To see ourselves as others do is fatal; our lies keep us alive.

  21. Last week, I had to make a speedy* trip to my Deep South domicile (aka The South Campus) to take care of some personal business. Upon arrival, I discovered that since I was there last my WiFi modem had apparently given up the ghost (or perhaps “given up on Ghost”). A brief call** to my ISP determined the modem was indeed a deader, and that the ISP would ship me a replacement. Then things went south, so to speak.

    The two options were to either ship it to the address where I have service (and only that address) or for me to pick it up at one of the ISP’s storefront locations. I pointed out that I was leaving for Oklahoma as soon as I finished my call to them, and that having the package sit on my front porch for the 60-90 days it would likely be before I returned there was suboptimal. Then I asked if I could pick it up at one of their Oklahoma stores if they shipped it there. The customer service rep consulted with her supervisor and then allowed that would be possible. Where would you like to pick it up? she asked. The nearest store to ZIP 74432, I replied.

    The next 50 minutes were spent with her calling every one of their stores in Oklahoma to determine that either they did not carry that piece of equipment, or carried it but it was out of stock with no estimate of when it would be in stock. The only thing that made the episode tolerable was listening to the young lady attempt to pronounce the names of about 20 Oklahoma locations. “Checotah” and “Muskogee” were my two favorites. (She was obviously not familiar with Merle Haggard’s body of work.)

    Long story even longer, my new modem is now either sitting on my porch or sitting inside my door if a friend with a key did what he promised. I’ll let you know in 60-90 days.

    *36 hours total time, 18 hours of it driving

    **Ha! It was an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

  22. Ghost, could you not have just bought a modem at a convenient store? Until I moved to Tulsa I was getting Netgear at Wally World. But my provider in Tulsa gave me a combo router/WIFI unit instead of letting me supply my own.

  23. Yes, but I turned out I had equipment replacement coverage, even though I usually don’t opt for that. Had I known it was going to be such an ordeal, and I’d had more time, I probably would’ve just purchased one, anyway.

    Although the way she butchered “Okmulgee” was sort of priceless.

  24. Folks outside the South have trouble with Tuscaloosa too. Reminds me of the series of commercials plugging Chevrolet and Isuzu way back when.

  25. Back when I lived in California, it was always fun to watch folks on the East Coast try to pronounce local names because they had no idea how Spanish is pronounced. Spelling was fun too. More than once I’ve had a caller admit that they’d never have spelled Camarillo properly.

  26. One thing I don’t understand, Ghost, is why so many people can’t pronounce “Muskogee.” You don’t need to understand any foreign languages, or recognize any non-standard (in English) pronunciations, you just have to pronounce it the way it’s spelled.

  27. But they have to guess between pronouncing it like stogie or oh gee. So they have a 50-50 chance of hitting it wrong. But those Creek names are easier than others. Growing up in Alabama made it easier for me, what with Tuscaloosa, Tallassee, and many others.

  28. In today’s last panel, Janis is shown with longer [& thicker] legs than Arlo, though she is shorter overall. He has the edge in upper body length.
    Just noticed; not claiming it is significant.

  29. CE-P: No disrespect intended, but… I have noticed that men do seem to become less muscular as they get older. There are men at the gym (yes, I do now go to the gym – after a regimen of physical therapy for back problems) that those of a “certain” age, can go like blue blazes on the treadmill or stepper. But when they stop, those legs are skinny! Of course, we females have the problem with our mid-section, so I guess it all evens out.

  30. True, Galliglo. I have rather skinny legs as well as a considerable girth, so I have the “best” of both worlds! Observation says that I am not alone in that description.

  31. Good news for Mr. T. It appears that thousands of people heading north through Mexico will be hit by a major hurricane a little later this week. We won’t even need the military. That is, unless the hurricane comes up behind them. They will be in Texas before they know it! Then we won’t have to worry about separating parents and children. Neat huh?

  32. Ghost has lost so much weight he is same size as when he enlisted during Vietnam war. The size 36 jeans he once dreamed on here of wearing slide off and he now wears a size large regular button down shirt.

    At 6 foot three that is amazing. Were it not for gray hair….

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