• author
    • Matthew Najmowicz

    • March 18, 2013 in Columnists

    It’s quiet all along the frontier

    It has been a quiet week on the outpost — some would call it home. 

    Most people wouldn’t necessarily complain about such an uneventful week that had the excitement level of watching two turtles mating.  I am not complaining about it — I am simply underscoring the anti-highlights. 

    The news cycle for the week was absolutely boring.  Most of my friends had very little to say and had uneventful weeks.  My local friends are pretty quiet and everything is pretty much on an even keel.  

    I wrote one column that was published last Monday, and I have four saved half-columns that were not really on par with what people are accustomed to me writing about: nerdiness and politics.  They sit on my desktop on my netbook taunting me and ridiculing me that I haven’t finished them yet.  Those bastards!  I’ll get my revenge on them in due time!

    One ongoing personal anecdote that I will share: my dog Shelby is about 14 years old.  For a German Shepard/Collie mix, this makes her a very advanced senior citizen.  Lately, her hind legs are getting more noticeably shaky and it’s making it harder for her to walk around and go to the lady’s room outside.  This is partly because of the weather, which has been cold and windy, and partly because she’s reaching the end of her natural life span.  Poor Shelby and her achy legs — my hairy valentine.   

    I am usually someone who rolls his eyes and mocks people who refer to their pets as “fur babies.”  Usually I get annoyed with this type of person rather quickly, and yet here I sit and think when Shelby passes away, I will miss her.  I always walk her and makes sure she has many chances to poop outside.  I sneak Shelby treats when people are yelling at her, even when she makes a mess on the floor.  Once in awhile a piece of pepperoni or other cooked meats end up in her dish.  I don’t know how the pepperoni got there, but it magically appears.  Perhaps it’s a pepperoni fairy.    

    Anyways, Shelby is declining and getting older.  It sucks.  It will suck just like when Isis the cat died. He was around 8 when he passed on. 

    When the chaos and breakneck pace of life calms down, I have to think about things that really matter, mostly this pertains to my two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth.

    I had a chance to talk to Mary on the phone Monday.  We chatted for about 80 minutes or so.  It’s always good to hear from her.  She moved out to Indiana to be with her now husband, Jai. 

    My local sister Elizabeth and I were supposed to meet up with a college friend of mine Anne for lunch.  I was really looking forward to the three of us hanging out and having lunch.  Another time I suppose. 

    So, it’s been five days of uneventful bullshit for the week.  I wish I had a pearl of wisdom to lob at you or something witty or funny to say.  Instead, I was in the middle of reading two books during the week.

    First book I read was SD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.  It was a really good book.  I am not bullshitting you.  That was my tribute to Holden Caulfield.  Anyways, teenage angst is still teenage angst.  I swear, this is the perfect mirror to a person who is 15-20 years old.  Holden is one of the great antiheroes ever written.  I have to agree with him — protocol, pleasantries and most social graces are a pain in the ass.  The book just made me laugh.  This book I finished. 

    The other book which I am still wading through is Christopher Hitchens’s Arguably Essays.  Here’s my beef with him: he is brilliant, he is funny, he is a prick, and you can’t pin him down.  Much in the same vein of Thomas Jefferson, he had to quote his friend to enemy to bestest bud again John Adams “a peculiar felicity for expression.”  And also in the same vein of Thomas Jefferson, it’s hard to see which side is up with the guy.  Is Hitchens a Neoconservative or, as he claimed toward the end of his life, still a Leftist?   Sometimes I read an essay of his and I barely understand what he’s blathering on about because he gets very inside baseball about everything.  This is the curse of a polymath.  However he had quite the extraordinary life and I suppose his ideological ambiguity is a testament to the life of a man or woman, that is to say that life is more fluid and just calls for what the situation requires — right?   

    Anyways, it has been a quiet week.

      • davidlacy

      • March 18, 2013 at 9:11 am
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      Hitchens and Salinger are perfect for a week in which nothing seems meaningful. I really enjoyed this “simple” piece.

      • Kelvin

      • March 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm
      • Reply

      It may have been an externally quiet week but judging by what you wrote here of your dog, your family and two great writers, it wasn’t a quiet week internally. Your gray matter was working hard. Matt, your mind’s like a shark, always moving. On the prowl.

    • Thanks guys. I felt like a week without anything worth mentioning. Go figure.

      • Maya North

      • March 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm
      • Reply

      I have learned to cherish quiet weeks since often that’s the stillness right before life winds up a fist to punch me…

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