Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Promise of Sofia

My daughter Mishi just told me on the phone today: good news! She and Sofia are arriving for vacation at our house on July 24th; to be followed by the arrival of Popi a week later. My mind sets to racing. Grammy and I will have to schedule all Sofia's favorite places: on the way home from the airport, we'll stop at the bowling alley and its adjacent restaurant for our usual pancakes and syrup; and while waiting for the food to arrive, Sofia and I will play the arcade games in the bowling alley's back room. Then the next day we'll to go the park, or maybe the pool (which pool? Rustic Canyon or Annenberg?), to be followed by the Santa Monica beach; and at night maybe the Pacific Palisades library for book readings. Then we'll go to the pier, the merry-go-round; then, maybe late at night, Sofia and I will pack ourselves in the car and go chase the moon, hopefully it will be full and magical when she is here; then...oh my God...oh my God...oh my God...foolish old man. Feel your mind racing...your heart a-flutter, your breath suspended; then gulped in deep draughts...she's no longer a baby, a toddler, a little girl! How stupid can you be? Don't you remember the pictures Popi Jorge sent you?! She a big girl now; the tallest one in class. Maybe she doesn't want to do those things anymore?! She's now six years of age, entering the first grade in the fall. She's learning to read and write. You have the visual proof, old man. She is not that little girl any more, the one who sat in your arms, cuddled up while you protected her from the world. You have the picture, the one that your lovely Mishi took in the back yard: Sofia so small, so tiny, her blankey and your arms covering her. Remember? You were ready to to kill, to maim. You were Grandpa; the old man of the mountain, the hirer of assassins. How can she grow? How can she possibly not need me anymore? Is the past just ritual now, to be re-experienced but not lived? Where has time gone? Where has her youth flown? Where is yesterday? Show me the craven crack it has crawled into. I will crushed into a fine powder, to be blown into nothingness. I want it back...the magic of tomorrow and innocence. Mine? Hers? All of ours?...Stop!!! Stop!! Banish. Banish old man. No more sorrow, the brimming tears. The cheap philosophical hand-wringing. Tomorrow is coming, a soon-to-be yellow arising of hope, eagerly awaited. Haven't you learned the lesson yet? The past is not to lament. It is to serve only as a guide, a teaching experience, a preparation for tomorrow. Grandpa, Grandpa, Grandpa...It is June. Then July. Then July 24th! Sofia and her beautiful Mommy will whatever form, whatever dimension. They are both ours, born of us, Grandpa's and Grammy's, ours to behold, and loved forever, beyond form, years, and shape and even death...timeless, eternal. Love itself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Of Immigrants and Chocolate

My friend the Cynic is having problems with the increasing and abundant flow of illegal immigration. He says one-on-one, he likes the illegal immigrants, sweet people, for the most part. But, like chocolate, it's great a piece at a time, but if too much is jammed down your throat, isn't it only natural to gag and spit it out.


Consciousness is self-awareness of our own life being played out by universal forces beyond our control; a cognitive awareness that seduces and confuses us into the illusion of personal choice and command.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Minus X Minus = Plus

My friend the Cynic was asked the secret of his marital longevity. He said: "Stubbornness. Neither one of us wants to admit we made a mistake." He then added: "I've got a friend whose been married even longer. He says he and his wife stay together because they both know they would have done even worse with somebody else."

The New Civil War (War Between the States), circa 2010

Wait a minute! Something's illogical here: Arizona passes a tough, new law aimed at uncovering and deporting illegal aliens. Los Angeles, CA, USA, disliking the Arizona law very intensely, states it is going to declare economic war (stop doing convention business) with Arizona. A sovereign US county is going to war with a sovereign US state on behalf of foreign nationals??!! Never mind "Doctors Without Borders"; is LA saying we now have "Nations Without Borders?" Please, someone, help me with my confusion.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My wife says that my friend R. is a user; I say he has nothing to give.

If, as some philosophers aver, the universe is infinite, maybe I AM the center of it.

Paul Krugman is the Salieri of economists.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sofia and Leah King

"Hi, Grandpa!" Sofia my granddaughter, age six, said sprightly over the phone yesterday.

"Hi, sweetheart. What are you doing today?" I replied, with that little joyful heart flutter the her voice usually inspires in me.

"Listening to Leah King," she said happily. I could hear the CD in the background.

A little back story: Leah King is a singer/songwriter in Los Angeles. Smooth and silky as velvet. She also happens to be an acting student of mine who once gave me a CD of some of her songs. About a year ago, on one of Sofia's visits to Grammy and Grandpa, I pulled it out of my CD pile and thought Sofia, who loves music, might like to hear Leah King sing.

She did; and obviously charmed by Ms. King's voice played the CD over and over again.

When her Popi, ever the researcher, who was also visiting, asked her if she liked Leah King because she sounded like Nora Jones, another favorite of Sofia's, Sofia answered: "No. I like her because she sounds like Leah King."

Back to the present.

A year has passed. And Leah King has continued to be, along with Shakira, Sofia's favorite..

Another piece of other back story: I had also recently sent Sofia two autographed pictures of Leah King, which Sofia had requested long ago and I had been derelict, until recently, to request from Ms. King and send to Sofia. On one of the pictures Leah King explicitly promised to write a song for Sofia. "I promise," Ms. King graciously wrote.

Over the phone: "Thank you for the pictures of Leah King," Sofia said to me, even more chirpily. "You're welcome. Did you like them?"

"Yes. Grandpa," she said with heartfelt gratitude. "when I come out in August with Mommy and Popi, I want to go to Leah King's house."

"Well," I said, "I don't think that would be the proper thing to do. But I could invite Leah over to our house. That might be possible. Would you like that?"

I could hear the excitement and anticipation in Sofia's voice. "Oh, yes, Grandpa (underline yes)."

Our conversation went on to other things: school and swimming and friends.

"Grandpa, Mommy is going to take a work trip soon. She is going to Las Vegas."

"Yes, I know. Then she's going to come to Los Angeles to visit Grammy and me."

"Is she going to meet Leah King?"

"No. I don't think so."

After a long pause: "Don't let her meet Leah King," she said quickly and firm.

Another long pause: "She can't meet Leah King until I meet her in August. Okay, Grandpa?"

"Okay," I said.

She decided to believe me. "Okay. Love you, Grandpa. Want to talk to Mommy?" The question was more a goodbye than a legitimate seeking of my affirmation.

She handed the phone to Mommy Mishi, my lovely daughter.

Sofia was gone, Sofia, the vapor, gone as magically as she had arrived.

Just before I spoke to my daughter, I thought: of such stuff stalkers are made; it was all my fault. Mishi's laughter on the other end of the phone corroborated my fears: I better get Leah King to dinner in August or I will be the stalked.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Tortured Logic

Tortured Logic is when you have to torture someone to accept your logic.