Sunday, November 07, 2010

Hartford and Vine


Last night we watched this documentary called "Pressure Cooker" on our Netflix-enabled instant-watch crack delivery system. It is about these high school kids in an inner-city school who enroll in the school's culinary arts program as a way to latch onto some scholarship money and get out of the ghetto. The program is run by Wilma Stevenson, part drill instructor, part mommy, no bullshit, all business.

I started crying about three minutes into it.


So many people live their lives completely under siege. I think that most of us just get crushed by life, smashed down into smaller and smaller lives by the brute forces of poverty, violence, disease, despair, stupidity, unfairness, disaster. We just get rolled over by the big machine.

But some of us get stronger and harder, like diamonds, under that pressure.


It's good for us as a species, but not so much fun for us as individuals.


We also watched "The Exploding Girl" which was the quietest, sweetest film. Ostensibly about falling in love, but mostly really about taking your first steps into the world.

I cried all through that stupid thing too.


I can cry at a Jello commercial.


My wife is getting more beautiful, which just freaks me the fuck out. She's always been a strikingly good-looking woman, but lately she's radiant. She throws off like a five-foot circle of white light around her.

And whatever you do, don't look her in the eye.

You'll be as lost as I am.


In the early morning hours the bulldog went apeshit, whining and pacing and even barking, which she considers very much below her.


I ignored her for a long time, but after a half dozen sharp pokes in the ribs by someone next to me, I got my flashlight (which happens to be mounted to a Glock 17 I keep by the bed) and went out onto the back deck.

It looked like somebody threw a frat party in our koi pond. Shit was all over the place. The hammock was pulled down, branches from the Japanese maple were busted off, the deck was strewn with lilly pads and little wet paw prints traced back and forth everywhere.

Fucking criminals, is what.

I should hate them, but they don't bother me. They're evil chimpanzees dressed up in cat-burglar outfits, I know. They'll fight you over the trash can, they'll hiss and hunch up and glare, and they don't like you at all.

I don't know why, but it cracks me up. My old man, he traps them and shoots them.

I don't see the need for it myself.


There is yet enough of death in this world.


I miss my kid but I don't think we're going to get to see her this weekend. She's got to go to a black church in Compton and get prayed over by some real professionals, so no visit for us.


The hedge remains wild and untrimmed. Maybe I'll just let it devour us whole.





Blogger 37paddington said...

Scott, crying is good. thanks for making me cry, too. it's a cleansing sort of cry, not bitter at all. a sweet cry.

but poverty and hopelessness are bitter things. i feel you.

i hope your girl is good this weekend. and what you said about your wife may be the most beautiful thing I ever heard a husband say.

i'm intrigued by the way the cars and the people in your photo look like set-up toys. the whole toy imagery makes the danger of this scene kind of intense.

7:09 AM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

on a practical note, your post will force me to figure out how to get that instant Netflix biz so that it goes into the TV. or, are you watching on a computer?
james is tutoring me in vampires & zombies, huge gap in my cultural portfolio: we saw the swedish Let the Right One In. whoa, daddy: very cool. even the bloody parts are almost icey.
in any case: lovely post, great images in your raccoon rant. so the hedge does its thing for a while longer. hedges got rights, too.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Judy Wise said...

OMG yes.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

That is some picture Mr. Tearful. Who is that one man who walks to aid the victim while everyone else stands in wait?
I think I know.
One of the things that made me fall in love with my husband is how, even though the sight of blood makes him pass out, he would always be the one to run to help when there was a car accident. For awhile there, it seemed like every time we drove somewhere, there was a car accident and he would run to help. Me too, but a lot slower.
Another reason I fell in love with him: He didn't feel bad about crying.
We have the raccoons here too but they want to eat our chickens. It's a constant battle. They are wily and clever and I swear they hunt in packs, sharing information, perhaps even sending in snakes to do recognizance work.
Well, your wife is a lucky woman but I know she makes you a lucky man so that evens out. Life is rarely that way and I'm glad it is for you.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is my favorite thing this week. i read it at the perfect time. started crying after the second star.

i'm so glad for you and yours.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I cry at commercials too. Havent' been the same since I had my kids.
Thanks for the heads up on the documentary, it's my kind of entertainment.
Your words are so honest and touching, it's an honor to read them. Your wife is a lucky woman. Your raccoons are lucky too. So are your readers. Thanks.

10:51 AM  
Blogger A said...

I once watched a raccoon figure out how to unscrew the top of a bottle of maple syrup. I went to put a roll of film in the camera (yes, this was a long time ago) and when I came back the bottle was empty, the raccoons were gone and they had put the top back on. Thanks for every detail of this post.

1:10 PM  
Blogger St. deVille said...

i compulsively hug your wife every time i have seen her. i just feel like doing it.

did you watch "the people speak"? netflix it. i cried my face off. well worth it.

1:50 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


This piece is one I did several years ago, when I was still playing with toys and a camera.

I don't know how I got that woman, but I do know enough not to let go of her!

I'm a lucky man.



3:04 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


We ran an ethernet cable from our router to the Samsung blu-ray player that is Netflix ready. We watch other streaming media on the Mac, but our next step will be to get the intertubes on the TV.

Killing our cable was the best thing we've ever done.



3:07 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I love your work! Glad you stopped by.



3:07 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

If I had chickens I'd kill the living shit out of those raccoons.

Your husband, I like the guy already.



3:09 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Dottie Bones-

I'm so glad you are my friend.

3:09 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Hope you like it.

And thank you for your kind thoughts.



3:10 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I believe it.

Good thing they don't drink, huh?

3:11 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I do the same thing!

I put The People Speak on our queue, thanks!



3:12 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

just glad to be here, to read this.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Omgrrrl said...

Missed your posts. And this one made me laugh. Is that wrong? Cuz it seems like you are going though a spot of bother. But you are holding on to your humanity.

What do I know? I blog about ironing.

11:16 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I'm glad you came here and read.

I'm thinking about you guys and rooting for you all. Ever's on her way, right?

4:52 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Spots of bother. They come and go, but ironing is forever.



4:53 PM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

I don't have anything to add or relate to necessarily, just enjoying the flow of your thoughts.


6:12 AM  
Blogger Photocat said...

Glad you give the racoons a chance...

1:51 PM  
Blogger Marylinn Kelly said...

The way you write of your wife gives me hope for us all. Finding, appreciating, the beauty in each other must be one of the hallmarks of civilization.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

i love everything about this post.

8:10 PM  

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