Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Ninety-Four Days.


Ninety-four days seems like a long time when the going gets a little tough.

Of course, it's absolutely nothing compared to the six months and twenty-four cycles of chemotherapy that C. went through not long ago.

Anyway, it's now Day 16 of my 94 day long term from hell and things are starting to settle down a little, especially given that the grants have gone in now. However, that will all change when course number three kicks in next week.


Yesterday, the weather turned toward fall and it was the first day I wore a jacket while riding to work. It was also the first time in months that I thought about what the winter will bring.

It's a weird thing.  When it's the middle of summer I have a very difficult time even conceiving of the middle of winter.

And apparently, the denizens of John Steinbeck's Salinas Valley had the same difficulty remembering what the coming seasons would bring.

How do I know that?

Because I'm reading 'East of Eden' for the first time since high school.

e., who, in addition to being a performer, is a reader like her big sister E., left Steinbeck's magnum opus on my desk down in the subterranean blues room recently after she was done with it.


When I arrived at e.'s apartment in Victoria awhile back with the rental van that we used to bring all her stuff back to central Lotusland (because she finished college last spring) my brother the former fireman was there to give us a hand.

As he was expertly packing things into the van such that the load shifted not once on the drive and ferry ride home, the former fireman noticed that one of the items he was packing away was a little cabinet I made when I was a kid.

"That looks like a 'Woodwork 9' project," he said.

It was, indeed.


I took woodwork in grade 9 in 1973.

Fifty years ago.

Which just proves that Dylan was only half right.

Because, while time may be a jet plane that moves too fast when it's feeling frisky, the 78 days remaining until my last class of the term seems like an eternity at the moment.


Jody Paterson has an interesting post up at her place about the death of both newspaper column writing and long form blogging...It's worth a read...While I don't disagree with Ms. Paterson,  I have a very different motivation for continuing on with the long(ish) form thing.



Danneau said...

The faster we go, the rounder we get: a title from The Dead's Anthem of the Sun. There was also a song, I believe, called Time, derived from a poem, that graced FM radio for a short burst at the height of psychedelia (not the Chambers Brothers) about the difference in the perception of time relating to activity and temporal perspective. Oh, well. Went to read Patterson's musings and it rang a lot of bells. Also I still have a dust pan that I made in Mr. Castronovo's shop class at Marina Junior High in the fall of 1963. I retrieved it from my mother's place when she passed away in 2010 and it hangs over the work bench as a reminder that I had good reason to pursue studies in French Literature, as opposed to actually trying to make things. Please don't stop writing: where the hell would I get my fix?

RossK said...


1963?....Sixty Years!

When I started this, it was because it was better than just yelling at the TeeVee and/or the radio and/or the Dean and/or the Keef, etc.

And there is still some of that.

But the other thing I now realize is that, kind of like what I do for my day job, sitting down to write something about something is how I really learn about that something.

As for my Grade 9 cabinet - when I look closely I can still see the ghosts of all the pencil marks under the varnish where all the marks were taken away - especially at the joins.


Jody Paterson said...

Please do continue on with your blogging! And I'll continue to hope that I'll do the same, because there's never been more to say on just about every front as seems to be the case these days. Thanks for the plug.

Nick S said...

I always enjoy your writing (and use the sidebar to read others') this one was especially enjoyable because I am a shop teacher. Thanks

RossK said...


Don't worry about me...fingers start twitching pretty bad within 36 hr after last push of the 'publish' button.

Hey!...Wonder if you could help foster discussion, and maybe even change a few minds, if you blogged a little more about the activism stuff from a personal POV...That's how you all take a step and send money regularly to the fantastic kids' place in Honduras.


RossK said...


Your work is eternal...Ask the PE teacher down the hall if she can say that!

And while table saws still care the crap out of me given the scary kickback stories in class, I'm pretty sure I could operate a drill press if called upon.



NVG said...

just don't wear cotton gloves near the drill press

NVG said...

My apologies here RossK. As always, I needed more information. I searched for

'expectations of six months and twenty-four cycles of chemotherapy'

RossK said...


No worries - it's on me.

Probably more than I should have said on the personal, family side...