Sippican Cottage

Close this search box.

Who’s Gonna Let It Roll? Unorganized Hancock, Of Course

My boys are making their way through their list of requests. Here’s one for my friend Bird Dog over at the aptly named Maggie’s Farm: Bob Dylan’s Minstrel Boy. Got good taste in everything but friends, that guy does.

If you’d like to throw our minstrel boys a coin, there’s a PayPal button at the top of the right column. Any amount over a buck will work. Many thanks to everyone that gave already; we’ve purchased a PA system for the boys that will arrive later this week. No more singing through a bass amp!

[Update: Thanks, Karen M.(via mail!) and Lorraine! Thanks, Kathleen! Thanks Cynthia!] Up-update: Thanks, Michael, for your coins and your kind words]

Mission Accomplished

I work all the time, but make little money. That’s a bad combination for my family to put up with. I’ve tried lately not to work on Sunday so much, and my younger son has started getting wild idée fixe notions about what we’re going to do on the seventh day. And what’s possible.

By the time Sunday rolls around, we’re going to camp on the dark side of the moon using a rocket we made in the basement with cardboard and tape and eat bearburgers and ride mooses in races with movie stars and split atoms with kitchen cutlery and catch fish that would strain a politician’s mettle to claim they’d caught bigger. We’re going to find an extra moon on Pluto with binoculars and dig up dimetrodons and shoot an apple off every head we see. You can lick thirty tigers, today, surely, Dad.

Above all he wants to make a video. He wants to make one that would give Disney a truss to lug around the Oscars; grind Pixar to pixels; make Freddy Wong foreswear muzzle flash forevermore. He wants YouTube to send him a Nobel Prize.

We have a snapshot camera.

He was upset a little. His grand plans of building castle sets from legos, only bigger than a real one, and making his head turn all around in a circle met the immovable rock of our time and circumstances. I told him the secret that the penguin nun with the sweet face told me all those years ago: You need to tell a story? You need the five Ws.

And so he supplied himself as the Who and his things as the What and summertime as the When and his house as the Where. He drew out his little storyboard with an unsteady pencil while I sipped my coffee with one eye open.
     “You need a Why, son.”
     “To make people smile.”
Mission Accomplished, son. 

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

The eight-year-old spare is fascinated with stop-motion stuff, so we wasted the morning together in a most pleasant fashion. He acted out all the choreography first, and took all the pictures. Eight frames per second will drive a person to distraction, but remember: Don’t panic!

Red, Right, Return

Gracie Gardner’s Vimeo Channel

The average contemporary human does not consider the sublime much. Life is not seen as linear –with an end — or even circular, with an eastern repetition. In many people’s mind they were never a baby and will never be old. It’s a botoxed cougar world, facing off against forty year old men still dressing up like Star Wars characters.

I don’t want to be sixty years old at a Coldplay concert with a girlfriend on my shoulders, thanks. I don’t think it will be fun to eventually look at eternity and only have fifteen minutes of real adult behavior in your CV. And I don’t want to act as if children are just short adults. I’m six-foot-two, there’s plenty of short adults around already.  It’s common for people to remark that they don’t want to see children out in public, and old people should find an ice floe before we have to find one for you. Out of sight, out of mind. Me? I like children that act childish and babies that coo and old people if they don’t say tsk too often.

Hey, there’s an aphorism: Out of sight, out of mind.  “Get out of our sight, and we’re out of our minds,” might be more to the point nowadays. Time for  new aphorisms, I guess.

My wife and I have children. We’re married to one another and stay that way. We raise the little shavers as best we can, and treat them like children, and try to prepare them to be adults so we can treat them like adults later. Maybe if we do it right they won’t start picking out an ice floe for us before we’re sixty.

Part of raising an adult is having respect for their opinions, at least eventually. Asking your four-year-old to pick out a color to paint their room is foolish. When you’re four-years-old, decisions should be made with an appropriate amount of serendipity, and not written in stone, or at least not eggshell paint. Children need help, and eventually you’re going to need help from your children in return, if for no other reason than to figure out what the hell you’ve been put on this earth for when your time’s up.

You have to protect your children from touching the stove, it’s true; but sooner or later they’re going to get older, and they’ll find themselves in a room with a hot stove, and they’re going to have to cook if they want to eat. How do you prepare your kids properly for modern life? Beats me. Maybe the simple fact that you try is where the success is hidden. It’s all quality time, if you ask me. Hey, that would make a nifty newage aphorism.  I often tell my wife, I’m a bad father, but I am a father, and take pride in not receiving an incomplete, never mind an “F”. Minus.

You can give your kids rules of thumb to navigate the world by. Aesop’s Fables. Red, Right, Return. Aphorisms. Eventually, they’ll grow up and make their own, and if you do your job right, maybe they’ll surprise and charm the hell out of you, considering what a world full of hot stoves we just handed them.

A Long, Languid, Heartfelt Plea Launched Into The Ether

Driving around a virtual world with the windows down. Blows hot and cold.

Notes in a bottle. Fingernails scratching at the unyielding mica schist in a dungeon, trying to leave some totem of a life. A wounded bird set free in a world of felines.

I didn’t mean nothing by it. I didn’t mean to look. You stood still and the Doppler put you on a carousel, gone loose in the joints, the big, spidery gears smeared with grease and the swarf of a million revolutions. The neon flickers all the time, but sometimes you can pick up the frequency and see the rhythm in it.

Is it a prayer or a curse you offer? Is there a difference?

Four Years To Go

And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favoured and fat-fleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass.
And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and lean-fleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
And the ill-favoured and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.


This band needs a nom de plume. Hmm, the eighties.

Frank Zappelin. Orchestral Maneouvres In The Ditch. A Flock of Goateegulls. The Alien Persons Project. Bob Sagan & The Salver Billet-Doux Bund. Bruce Stingspleen. The Commode Ores. Cyndi Leper. David Lee Wroth. Depest Mode. Any Money. Fine Young Cannonballs.

I know.

Frankie Goes to Houses of the Holyweird.

Tag: mashups

Find Stuff: