Thursday, April 29, 2004

"Aw, somebody ought to cut that tree down, the homely thing."
"If there was only one tree like that in the world, you would think it was beautiful," said Katie. "But because there are so many, you just can't see how beautiful it really is. Look at those children." She pointed to a swarm of dirty children playing in the gutter. "You could take any one of them and wash him good and dress him up and sit him in a fine house and you would think he was beautiful."
"You've got some fine ideas but a very sick baby, Katie," they told her.
"This baby will live," said Katie fiercely. "I'll make it live."

—excerpt from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The wind blew hard yesterday. It blew all night, warm and dry. This morning I got out the old piece of crap bike and prepped her for a ride into town (ten miles). The wind was against me all the way in; it was like pedaling in mud. About halfway there I hit a ditch and pitched forward on my face, dislocating my shoulder and scraping myself up pretty good. Talk about pain. (*Not the shoulder, because of old jr. high football injuries, it gets dislocated all the time).

No, the worst pain was my five year old pair of Burger King sunglasses that cost me two bucks but come with their own carrying case and have lasted longer than any pair I've ever owned. They make me look cool, kind of like John Lennon. They didn't break, but got bent up something fierce and will never be the same. I'm wearing them right now so that people won't see how scraped up my face is.

But it is a beautiful day, with all the new flowers, and the trees just opening up, and the river high and running fast. It's one of those days where you can still see the old, dead grass but the new grass and everything else is covering it swiftly and you know nature is busy pummeling winter to death and burying it in some old peat bog somewhere. (Of course, we don't have peat bogs here for the most part; this is America, man).

Complete Peanuts

I'm a huge Peanuts fan. I've collected the books and toys since I was a little bitty kid. Schulz was a genius and an incredibly gifted writer and cartoonist. Now Fantagraphic Books are going to reprint the entire peanuts archive! Released chronologically, they will cover the entire history of the strip. First volume is out now.