Throwback Thursday – April 5, 2018

All the content with half the work!

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Greetings to all my Esteemed Reader(s). It’s rudyblues here, back with another edition of  Throwback Thursday! That time of the week when we meander most merrily down Memory Lane to meet a morsel from the mists of time.

ThrowbackThursdayAs some of you know (unwillingly, perhaps), Throwback Thursday is a recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations. The intent is to reacquaint my gentle reader(s) with some of my lesser known earlier work. That and I’m looking for ways to keep slacking off.

Here’s how this Throwback Thursday thing works. I take this nifty boilerplate post I’ve created, add the date, add a short paragraph extolling the virtues of the previously unrecognized gem you have the opportunity to read, tack a previous post onto the end, et voila! Throwback Thursday! You get the Throwback Thursday post in your reader stream, scroll down to the previous post, and enjoy the (not so) great literary stylings of rudyblues. I get views, maybe clicks, and possibly visits. You get . . .  well, I’m not exactly clear on what you get, I was hoping to come up with something more for you, perhaps later. So here we go.


This was originally posted in December of 2015. It was an attempt at a description of a place, trying to let the reader feel what I felt when thought of the place. I think it may have been in one of the blogging classes from WordPress U. I hope you like it.


Grandma’s House – December 14, 2015

Harper's_New_Monthly_Magazine_Volume_104_December_1901_to_May_1902_(1902)_(14781045774)Grandma’s house was tiny when I returned to see it, all those years later. She moved there after Grandpa passed, when I was young, perhaps three or four. They say the old place was just too big for her to handle. As a child, I thought Grandma’s house was enormous and wonderful. I like the childhood memories best.

It was a block off the town square, on a quiet tar-and-chip street with a pronounced crown. Between the street and the cracked, uneven public sidewalk was a deep drainage ditch, deeper than I was tall. You could sit at the bottom, in the closely mown grass, lose sight of the world around you, and watch the clouds drift, puffy balls.

A massive spruce tree covered the front of the house. The boughs were allowed to grow naturally, sweeping down gracefully as if in a deep bow, touching the ground all around. The house hid behind the boughs, the ends peeking out. An alley ran along the right side of the house, two cindered ruts through close-cropped clover. Running parallel to the alley were two more cindered ruts, ending just before the house, parking for guests.

A narrow sidewalk ran from its intersection with the front sidewalk towards the house, beside the second set of cindered ruts. As it reached the house, the little sidewalk turned left and disappeared into the boughs, seemingly swallowed by the big spruce. But an equally narrow, carefully manicured break in the lower boughs, just tall enough for a human, made a covered arch for the sidewalk to wind through to the front door.

The arch-shaped break in the boughs opened up the interior of the tree, the space between the trunk and where the tips of the boughs touched the earth. It was like a separate room, dark, cool, fragrant from the pine needle floor and the sticky sap oozing from the boughs. Grandma kept gardening tools in a small shed that fit under the boughs, hidden from the world. Small children hid there as well.

The house was brick, covered in deep, dark green ivy. If the house had a color, nature had long ago replaced it with her own. The ivy seemed deep enough to swallow me, my arms too short to touch the brick through the thickest part. The ivy gave the house a soft and shaggy appearance, as if it had grown, rather than being built.

At the back of the house, at right angles to the little alley, was an aluminum carport where Grandma would park her 1963 Rambler American. Just off the carport, under a small but shady tree, was a glider swing, the kind made for two people, a fixed frame with the seat and arms and back suspended by heavy springs from the frame. And, as the heat of a summer day spent running and jumping and howling cooled, a small child was soothed by the embrace of Grandma in her apron and the rhythmic creak of the glider as it swung, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Throwback Thursday – March 29, 2018

All the content with half the work!

Greetings to all my Esteemed Reader(s). It’s rudyblues here, back with another edition of  Throwback Thursday! That time of the week when we meander most merrily down Memory Lane to meet a morsel from the mists of time.

ThrowbackThursdayAs some of you know (unwillingly, perhaps), Throwback Thursday is a recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations. The intent is to reacquaint my gentle reader(s) with some of my lesser known earlier work. That and I’m looking for ways to keep slacking off.

Here’s how this Throwback Thursday thing works. I take this nifty boilerplate post I’ve created, add the date, add a short paragraph extolling the virtues of the previously unrecognized gem you have the opportunity to read, tack a previous post onto the end, et voila! Throwback Thursday! You get the Throwback Thursday post in your reader stream, scroll down to the previous post, and enjoy the (not so) great literary stylings of rudyblues. I get views, maybe clicks, and possibly visits. You get . . .  well, I’m not exactly clear on what you get, I was hoping to come up with something more for you, perhaps later. So here we go.

Here’s a second look at a rant. Just a rant. Sorry. Just can’t help it. It’s a rant. Originally posted January of 2016. I hope you enjoy it.


This is in response to the Daily Post prompt “Keeping up with the Jones’”, where they ask me to “Tell us about the one luxury item you wish you could afford, in as much detail as you can. Paint a picture for us.” Right. I’ll paint a damn picture.

Well. To borrow a phrase, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” It’s not the nice things that I’m burying. Nice things are, well, nice. It’s what drives the whole “keeping up” thing that I’m here to bury. And it’s the cause of a lot of heartache and frustration.


[begin rant]

Ours has become such a consumer-oriented society that we rarely consider it any longer. It seems that so many of us must have the biggest house, and the biggest car, and the latest I-phone, and the hottest designer bags, and the Air Jordan sneakers, and the list goes on and on and on. And it’s never enough!

There are many reasons for this, including human nature, which we can recognize and control, popular culture, which we should recognize and control but don’t, and advertising, which is diabolical and ought to be outlawed entirely (apologies to any advert execs out there). Let’s consider each one of these a bit.

Human nature. Ah, that fickle fiend, human nature. Humans are one of the only primate species to display the emotion of envy (those who are anthropomorphically inclined interpret some behaviors exhibited by the great apes as envy). The word envy is derived from the Latin word invidia.

In Latin, invidia is used in many contexts, with various meanings. The most common use of invidia in an emotional context is for the sense of injustice and pain felt when encountering undeserved wealth, power, prestige or authority exercised without shame. The emphasis, in my book, is on the “without shame.” It’s how you feel when those who “got it” flaunt it openly and without guilt.

This human trait was recognized long, long ago, so long ago that it’s included in the fundamental teachings of all three of the Abrahamic religions.  I suspect it’s probably in the teachings of every “religion”, except the worship of the filthy lucre, though I haven’t studied them all. Envy is one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” in the Christian belief. It still doesn’t stop us.

The other side of envy is pride. Not pride in the sense of “I’m proud of you for winning the spelling bee” or “He took great pride in keeping his house tidy”. This pride is akin to the Latin superbia or the Greek hubris. It is first and foremost on many lists of the Seven Deadly Sins and is thought to be the most serious and the source of many of the other sins. Think conceit. Dante defined this kind pride as a love of self that is “perverted to hatred and contempt for others.”

If you flaunt it, if you’ve ever thought or uttered the words “those people”, you’ve exhibited this kind of pride. Shame on you. If it wasn’t for you, there would be no envy. There was a time in the United States, or at least in the parts I hail from when flaunting it was considered in poor taste. Think about Warren Buffet. He lives in the same modest house he started out in. That’s how it used to be. Not so much now.

And then there’s greed. How much more money do you need, Sheldon Adelson?  You couldn’t possibly spend all your money in what’s left of your life, even if you paid a boatload of accounts to find ways to spend it. And it’s never enough!

Let’s talk about popular culture. When we worship pop culture icons we force pride upon them to justify our envy! And when they refuse to display the pride we force upon them then we envy their non-pride! I would not want to be a pop culture icon today. It’s no wonder child stars often end up as they do. They haven’t been given the tools to deal with pride or envy, and then they’re thrust onto a pedestal and worshiped.

The same can probably be said for many of the children of the “helicopter” parents, who make sure that their children have no balance between self-worth and the worth of others. This is perhaps the most egregious child-rearing sin of all. I’m reminded of the punk in Texas who argued “affluenza”. What? We had to invent a disease to describe your sinful pride? And it’s never enough!

And don’t even get me started on advertising. Using psychological subterfuge to prey upon someone’s self-image to sell a product is wrong. Just wrong. I got nothing more to say on this.

And it’s never enough!

[end rant]

Throwback Thursday – March 22, 2018

All the content with half the work!

Greetings to all my Esteemed Reader(s). It’s rudyblues here, back with another edition of  Throwback Thursday! That time of the week when we meander most merrily down Memory Lane to meet a morsel from the mists of time.

ThrowbackThursdayThrowback Thursday is a recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations, much to the consternation of all involved. The reputed intention is reacquainting you gentle reader(s) with some of my earlier work. The true intention is far more telling than that.

I’m changing up the format of this thing a bit to see if you Lovely Reader(s) prefer a reposting over a link to an old post. So, here’s how this Throwback Thursday thing works today. The same nifty boilerplate post, dated, a short blurb about the undiscovered pearl you’re about to read, with a previous post tacked to the end. The Throwback Thursday post arrives in your reader stream, but instead of clicking the link to the previous post, you get to enjoy the (not so) great literary stylings of rudyblues by simply scrolling. Feedback?

This was a very early post (December 2015, I think) that I liked, but apparently few others felt the same way. Could be because no one saw it.


Some random ramblings

Ever feel random? Me too.
December 14, 2015

183px-Antony_Gormley_Quantum_Cloud_2000

Quantum Cloud 2000 by Antony Gormley. Photo by Andy Roberts from East London, England (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 Creative Commons]

 

ran•dom

Adjective

  1. made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision:
    “a random sample of 100 registered voters”
    synonyms: unsystematic, unmethodical, arbitrary, unplanned, undirected, casual, indiscriminate, nonspecific, haphazard, stray, erratic, chance, accidental
  2. informal, derogatory
    Unfamiliar or unspecified:
    “you believe some random dude on YouTube”

Noun

  1. informal
    unfamiliar or unspecified:
    “he sat down in the gate and talked with some randoms”

I feel a little random today. Definitely undirected. Can’t seem to make up my mind. Start something, get bored, start something else, maybe another, come back to the first. Very erratic, a bit haphazard. Read more ruminating

Throwback Thursday – March 15, 2018

All the content with half the work!

Greetings, esteemed reader(s). It’s rudyblues here. Time again for another edition of  everyone’s some people’s rudyblues’ favorite feature, Throwback Thursday! Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane (hopefully avoiding Alzheimer’s Alley) and check out a chestnut from the past.

ThrowbackThursdayAs some of you know (unwillingly, perhaps), Throwback Thursday is a recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations. The intent is to reacquaint my gentle reader(s) with some of my lesser known earlier work. That and I’m looking for ways to keep slacking off.

Here’s how this Throwback Thursday thing works. I take this nifty boilerplate post I’ve created, add the date, a link to a previous post, and a short paragraph extolling the virtues of the previously unrecognized gem you have the opportunity to read. You get the Throwback Thursday post in your reader stream, click the link to the previous post, and enjoy the (not so) great literary stylings of rudyblues. I get views, clicks, and possibly visits. You get . . .  well, I’m not exactly clear on what you get, I was hoping to come up with something more for you, perhaps later. So here we go.


 

This is a post I did back in January 2016, when I was still getting to know this blogging thing. I believe it was in response to a Daily Prompt from the Daily Post people. When I wrote it I didn’t think too much of it, but in hindsight I think it might have spoken to many people over a long period of time. It still gets views now and again. I hope you’ll read it, and I hope enjoy it. Thank you for taking the time.

Fashion Sensations of my Youth

Throwback Thursday – March 8, 2018

All the content with half the work!

Greetings, esteemed reader(s). It’s rudyblues here. Time again for another edition of  everyone’s some people’s rudyblues’ favorite feature, Throwback Thursday! Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane (hopefully avoiding Alzheimer’s Alley) and check out a chestnut from the past.

ThrowbackThursdayAs some of you know (unwillingly, perhaps), Throwback Thursday is a recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations. The intent is to reacquaint my gentle reader(s) with some of my earlier, unknown work. That and I’m looking for ways to keep slacking off.

Here’s how this Throwback Thursday thing works. I take this nifty boilerplate post I’ve created, add the date, a link to a previous post, and a short paragraph extolling the virtues of the previously unrecognized gem you have the opportunity to read. The Throwback Thursday post shows up in your reader stream, you click the link to the previous post, and you enjoy the (not so) great literary stylings of rudyblues. I get views, clicks, and possibly visits. You get . . .  well, I’m not exactly clear on what you get, I was hoping to come up with something more for you, perhaps later. So here we go.


What better subject matter for a retrospective feature than childhood memories. This is one I wrote back in 2015 as an exercise in using imagery to evoke a sense of place. I hope you enjoy it.

Grandma’s house

Throwback Thursday – March 1, 2018

All the content with half the work!

Greetings, esteemed reader(s). It’s rudyblues here. Well, it’s March 1st, and March is sure coming in like a lion here in the upper Midwest of the United States! Lashing rains, dark brooding clouds, gusting winds. In other words, spring is just around the corner!

ThrowbackThursdayI thought I’d introduce a new recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations called “Throwback Thursdays.” My intent here is to dredge up some of my under-performing loser posts reacquaint my gentle reader(s) with some of my lesser known earlier work. That and I’m looking for ways to keep the content flowing while slacking off.

I’m not sure exactly how I want to format this feature, so for this issue I’m linking to the original post as well as copying it into this post. Future issues of Throwback Thursday may follow a different format. If any of you have any recommendations, please leave me a comment, and thanks for reading.

Since the U.S. election season is upon us, I thought it would be a great time to resurrect an explanation of how we vote here in the U.S. This post first appeared in Rudy’s Ruminations on February 1, 2016, in response to a Daily Post prompt. Link here, text below the fold.

Read more ruminating