Thank you to everyone who mailed or commented with advice, it was universally good and well-meant and I shall be taking most of it, even the contradictory bits, he said without irony.
Life is an advice machine, isn’t it. If you include “lesson” under the general heading of “advice.” Maybe it’s the buy a red car, see how many red cars are suddenly in the streets thing.
Or in my case, the drive unpredictable beaters and see how many cars break down on the road when the weather gets good and cold, as it is today thing. I was murmuring prayers of thanks, general delivery, on my way to work today that I have a dependable new car at the moment. That made me wonder who, exactly, I ought to be thanking. God? Life in general? My wife and me for living within our means so that we can afford a little Mazda? My children for not developing any expensive habits or problems, except for the harp thing and the going to a school where they take trips throughout the continent all the apparent time thing, which you can’t really get upset about thing?
At any rate, I was glad the car worked because it’s chilly out.

Earlier this morning I sat down at my kitchen table to eat some uncooked oatmeal because

  1. I can’t be arsed to cook oatmeal in the mornings and

  2. I like it better that way

and there was this magazine there with an article about relaxing and taking a different approach to time and stress, which was right up the alley of various things we are dealing with at our house at the moment thing, so I read it as I had my reading glasses with me, and but it was longer than I had time for so actually all I read was the sidebar thing and it had a list of, you guessed it, advice in the form of things to try and I cheered myself up with them.

How I remember the list of advice given in the article:

  • Think about the person you want to see in the mirror when you shave in the morning.

That would be Scarlett Johansson in a plush bathrobe going on about what a fun guy I am, except there is something unreal about her, not exactly fake although her lips sometimes make me wonder, but something unreal, especially if I were seeing her in the mirror in the morning, I’d question my sanity more than usual and have to turn around and check, am I just seeing her in the mirror or is she really there in my bathroom and she’d be all, “what? What, Mig?” and if she was just in the mirror I could just run some cold water over my face and swear off the absinthe but if she was there in the bathroom I’d be all, sshhh, don’t wake anybody and everything sort of unravels from there; moreover, I’d actually rather see my wife in the mirror in the morning going on about what a fun guy I am.

  • Think more about the compass point giving direction in life, and less about the clock running your life.


  • Imagine your eulogy.

Okay. But I can’t get past imagining what my neighbors would say, because I imagine them saying, “He was a nice guy, and quiet, I don’t know if I ever had a conversation with him longer than two sentences. Who would have ever suspected he would have an arsenal of automatic weapons, yet alone use them so violently?” And that gets me chuckling and see, the article has me feeling better already and I’ll have to finish the list some other time thing.

10 responses to “Eulogy

  1. you make me think of the joke that starts, “a mushroom walks into a bar” and ends with “no, i’m just a fun guy!”

    a lot of the time i think advice is talking to your former self, as much as or even more than it is talking to the person in front of you. “sleep while the baby is napping!” we say, knowing that we did not and that the person we are telling also probably will not, but will live on to tell someone else, “nap while the baby is sleeping!” and so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly, etc.

  2. Whenever you talk about automatic weapons like that, I always wonder to what extent Bart was really just a figment of your imagination.

  3. mig

    I haven’t seen Bart in the mirror for hours.

  4. I’m with you on Scarlett Johansson. There’s a vagueness about her appraisal that’s really unsettling.

  5. paul

    Doesn’t eating uncooked oatmeal make your stomach explode? Or is that feeding Alka-Seltzer tablets to seagulls?

    Just to be safe you might want to have your eulogy done BEFORE breakfast…

  6. mig

    That thought had occurred to me too. I think I’m safe as long as I don’t eat too much, and avoid raisins.

  7. And here I thought my husband was the only human to eat uncooked oatmeal. He mixes his with butter and peanutbutter, which only increases his assurance that I won’t even want to watch, much less share it.

    I love giving and getting advice, and I especially love explaining how someone’s advice will never work for me. It fits in nicely with my goal to Appear to Know It All.

  8. mig

    uncooked oatmeal + butter + peanut butter reminds me of something my dog used to eat, only with plastic army men and rubber bands, too.

  9. j-a

    whatever it is you find out that works, can you let us know. there are people out there (me) who need some help on sleep etc. etc.

  10. just to say i stopped by (cos we like it when people stop by, don’t we?) and you made me laugh again and thank you. seems like there is lots of art in my life, some meditation and good food, but not enough laughter.

    You ARE a fun guy.