The Hazelnuts are In

Yes, there’s a chance of frost tonight but the hazelnuts are still dormant, so I’m hoping it’ll be fine. I dug two holes, hauled some compost over, planted the two stick looking things, and then watered them well. And now I’m sore in my arms. My back has been killing me for two days.  But weirdly, even though I can’t find a way to sit on the couch or in my office chair that doesn’t cause me slight pain, sitting on the ground felt great. I’m kind of wondering if the problem isn’t actually in my legs, not my back, and having them straight out helped.

The other thing about the drummer for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is that he was the same shape as my Grandpa Phillips. I do miss him. I guess that’s what makes me a universalist. My Grandpa does not deserve a happy afterlife, but, if there is such a thing, I would be very unhappy to not find him there.

I guess that’s why I also am beginning to think that “deserves” is a stupid thing.

I’ve been thinking about that “Just Love Everybody” post. Have y’all seen this? Some guy wrote this post about how Christians should stop focusing on making sure gay people know they’re sinful and instead just work on being loving and open to everyone. And then it got linked to all over. And then some people stopped acting like cruel jackasses toward their children and it got passed around farther and here we are. I saw it a few days ago.

Here it is.

I disagree that all the major religions have the same fundamental message of love, but Christ, sincerely, if this is moving people to change their behavior toward people, then I’m not going to nitpick.

But I am uneasy about it and I can’t quite figure out why. And yet, doing good in the world. So, eh, I can’t stop thinking about it, but I’m not sure what I think about it.

I’m tired and I had to watch an incredibly crappy thing happen today so I’m feeling disjointed.

But I swear, I smelled cigars in the shower this morning.

So, maybe Grandpa Phillips is closer than he appears.

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

Tom Piazza says that bluegrass is the jazz of country and the show we went to last night seems to bear him out. It was awesome. I was grinning the whole time.  I had neglected, apparently, to convey the awesomeness of the show to my parents beforehand, so they thought they were going to see Del McCoury and then the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. So, when they realized that the two groups were going to play together through the whole show, they were thrilled.

My dad knew every song and sang along. My mom clapped and danced. The guy sitting next to her was so delighted  by her enthusiasm that he told her she should go see them in New Orleans, where he could guarantee they would tear the place down. Bless his heart, this lead to my mom being very upset the whole ride home that they were going to physically demolish Preservation Hall. Remember this story, when you use your crazy hipster slang, people.

It’s impossible to say what was best. It all was best. The Del McCoury Band did a nice tribute to Earl Scruggs that really showed off their talent in using their microphones and just how easily they pass a melody between them which I was glad about because I really wanted my dad to get to see that. I have set aside my prejudice against clarinets based solely on last night. It was awesome to see the clarinet and the fiddle swapping the melody. The main tuba player, I swear, danced the whole time. I said to my dad that that’s a guy whose doctor never nags him about getting more cardio. If you can dance through a whole two hour show while playing the tuba, you are in good shape.

The drummer was amazing. The Butcher and I both said that there were a couple of times when you would have thought he was asleep except for his wrists. You get used to drummers who flail their whole arms about, like squabbling chickens, and so seeing someone who can conduct a whole dramatic three minute long drum solo while looking no more worked up than my grandpa is pretty disconcerting. The noises were all as if he was John Bonham, but his public demeanor was more like the calm Buddha.

At the end, people were waving their hands and their handkerchiefs. My mom was dancing and clapping and though neither her claps nor her wiggles matched the music (both my dad and my brother leaned over to me and said “Mom is white” at different ties, which got me to laughing so hard I couldn’t look at any of them.) her joy was infectious.

I wish their visits could always end like this.