(2013, I think)
I’m old enough now to have just used an AARP card at Denny’s. Twenty per cent off, which is a big help when you’re too old to dine and dash. I’m also old enough to find the Dinner Party Download on KPCC annoying. Not incredibly annoying, just grumpy late middle aged guy annoying. Get off my lawn, etc. But I listen anyway. Not deliberately, just if it’s on. Ever since the wife nearly died and I was left in a house potentially widowered for a few weeks back in 2008 I seem to need to have sound here all the time. Voices. I can blast instrumental jazz, of course, but when I’m wandering about doing chores or reading or procrastinating and the wife’s not around, I need voices. I don’t really need them, it’s just habit. And as it’s not annoying, it survives. So the TV is always on, or the radio, or the stereo. When the wife was in the hospital that solid month there’d be something on in every room here at the house all the time, radios, TVs, stereos, some idiot jabbering away on the computer. When you’ve been married forever silence is deafening. I used to talk to the cats a lot. Two would answer back, the other would just look annoyed. I said hello to the fish. To the plants. I don’t think I talk to plants anymore, but I still talk to inanimate objects, and the tea kettle hisses back, a trick I learned from my sainted mother that she learned from her sainted mother, bless her soul. I talked to the tea kettle a lot then. Drank more tea then I ever drank before or since, just so I could bicker with the kettle. I’ve even cringed through an hour of The Splendid Table, with that voice squeezing unctuousness like extra virgin olive oil. Only the metaphysical nonsense of On Being is completely intolerable. A newer New Age take on Alan Watts, lite and undrunk. Egad. I let out an involuntary you are so full of crap and switch to KPFK and listen to the paranoids plead for money.