Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday Musings: Psalm Like It Hot

Last Million
Sunday. Heat wave, 22˚F. Spring in the air.

Down to My Last Million
Looking in a drawer for some Euros to give my daughter for her trip to Holland recently, I discovered the Argentine 1,000,000 Peso note, at left.

I must have gotten it as change during a trip to Uruguay a few years ago. Didn't think much about it except that it might fit a new collage I was making.

This week, coincidentally, there has been much talk about Argentina's devaluation of its currency and hyper-inlaftion for its citizens. So, I thought it might be a good time to figure out what it was worth.

My friend at Travelex in Stamford (highly recommended) told me that they were not currently buying Argentine currency. Enter Google, whose first two entries told me it was worth over 300,000 USD. College tuition written all over it.

But, it seemed unlikely that I wouldn't remember having made a $500,000 purchase at an airport in order to receive that kind of change. So I drilled down to find that the real value might be $1.50-7.50 for this 1982-83 note, issued several devaluations ago. Or, it might be zero.

Back in the collage. Guess I can put the Yes! paste on its back now. I would estimate the value of this collage to be at least $1.50-7.50. More or Less.

Apostrophe Catastrophe
Early last Thursday morning: 2:30 a.m. to be exact. I was driving north on US-95, headed home after finishing an issue of the paper –one must be careful about referring to a "close," since many assume you mean the last issue ever. iPhone showed 4˚F.

Had to laugh. Tired, freezing, alone except for a few trucks on the highway, 65 years old. Laughing, because of the many dreams of the writers life I'd had over the years, I did not recall this particular version. Hemingway's Paris and the Seine? Oui! Crossing the Byram River in the Little Jeep That Could with its ancient heater valiantly fighting the insurgent cold? Non!

And yet, it is exactly what I asked for many times, at least the chance if not the exact circumstances. We pick the prayer. God makes the circumstance; and it must be remembered that His/Her ways are at least as much Monty Python and early SNL than sacred scriptures.

To prove a point, back in the office Thursday afternoon, I took the first copies of the paper just off George's truck, slit open the plastic band and spread it out on my desk. Blatant typo on Page One. A check of the proof demonstrated that we had it right. What happened? Little joke: pay attention.

Friday morning, 16˚F, standing with the new mayor in six inches of snow at proposed affordable senior housing site. It occurred to me that I used to travel to Barcelona, Beijing, Paris, London, Havana, Beirut. Little message to me: keep your feet on the ground. Love the now your with and keep working.

Psalm Like It Hot

Housing Site
Listening to the rather dour music in church a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of a project I began some years ago called Not With Our Eyes. The idea was to reinvent liturgical music using "secular" songs, poems, etcetera. Here are two examples: John Coltrane's "Spiritual" and Nick Cave's "Into My Arms." I hear Coltrane's longer, more melodic pieces as psalms. That might sound funny to some. Hah! Two can play this game.