even a stopped clock...

This morning I got up early to watch the hawks making lazy circles in the sky, an activity - the watching, not the circling - which always makes me reflective. The hawks are circling over Manhattan. This is not a doomsday metaphor and I'm not on the road out west, they're real live birds, boids as New Yorkers said in the days when we had our own regional accent, and they're lazy because they've apparently just fed. My "park view," as real estate agents would say, Himself says "Yeah, keep looking that way, don't blink," includes glimpses of the Atlantic Flyway, a major north-south route well known to migrating birds. Many of them have gotten accustomed to the park and stayed. I imagine they wanted to Write when they were fledglings. Or Paint. The native birds, like the bears who terrorize garbage cans in northern New Jersey, have moved with the trends. A well-fed hawk knows where to find well-fed rats. Love my town, it has the best of everything.

So - even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I can apply this to so many work situations I've lived through! but not now, now I'm thinking that by extension, even a silly cookbook can give you one gem of a recipe, even a whiny self-indulgent novel can contain one paragraph or if luck holds, one chapter, that connects with you. Example, a few pages about a guy going nowhere who finds a job at a gravestone and monument business.  His task is to draw up "renderings" of sample gravestones for the customers to peruse while ordering, this taking place in the period between World Wars when there were no computers and almost any job was a good job. To hang on to the job, our hero adds artistic flourishes to his sketches, a widow bent with grief, a small child holding a flower... and then he gets really creative, adding sample inscriptions, in which he kills off people who've let him down in the past, name, "dates," horrifying Bible quote - plague, vengeance - and cause of death, generally grisly.

Here lies (Name of Bullying Teacher), who died alone after horrible suffering, victim to an incurable social disease. A local politician's fourth wife dies of a lack of curiosity, the devoted mother of eleven dies of exhaustion, most of a beloved husband's body is found behind a tavern and mourned by a relieved family. The town's local hero, a WW I officer, is trampled to death by the heroically retreating regiment he'd urged forward. The gates of Hell open with joy to welcome the Honorable ...Ultimately, the artistic shading is not quite finished when the customer arrives - Steven King would have made the awful things come true, but E.M. Remarque gave his protagonist a worse fate: unemployment in 1930's Germany. I myself have spent many morbid hours imagining the stone on the grave of the world's worst boss while I was hunting for a better job. Or a different job. Anything. That chapter of my life is done, happily, but I'm grateful for the fictional gravestones.

And so I contemplate the stopped clock adage. It can also mean, by extension, that someone who habitually ignores facts, who misleads and overstates, can also tell the plain truth, by accident, or without recognizing that it is true. Example: Markdowns are mistakes.
Well, yes, they are. I wonder if the great brain at Saks Fifth Avenue who thought people would grab this gem is now thinking about a job sketching tombstones. And on top of the markdown, a 20% Friends and Family Sale discount! and I still don't want it - please, please, really I don't.

Because, you know, there's also a saying about what you think when the clock strikes thirteen.


  1. Oh my. Such a bargain at $200+ and for 100% artificial ingredients. If this were done by JC, it would be a shoo-in for my Things That Make You Say Hmm posts.

    I love watching hawks. We have just a few in our neighborhood and I always root for them to get the rabbits. The bunnies are cute but there are too many of them eating lawns.

    1. I actually came across the pants while I was hunting for things that go with snake-print. My first thought ws "Can white tea make you hallucinate?" And of course my next thought was that I'd love to see Gayle Spannaus get to work on that one. I guess she'd start with a striped tee?

      My pet peeve at Flintstone Manor - the deer. I order venison when it's available, but it's an uphill battle.

  2. Hawks and Bunnies.
    Next will be Owls and Wolves.
    But don't forget about Crows - Tigers along with Geraphes and Pandas.
    Condoleeza Rice sure isn't and either is Karl Rove.
    And right about now, they're talking Dana- Fredst.
    With Shand.
    And " Istanbul".

    1. Well, as I always say, it's ur ability to accessorize that separates us from the animals.

  3. Oh My. Love the hawks. I see eagles out of my work window all the time and often take that as a metaphor (of I don't know what!). The pants. Will work well when I go and join the circus!

    1. How can you even think about running away to join the circus and leaving that sweet man who got uYou those lovely earrings?

  4. I don't like the look of any capri pants on anyone but these are beyond horrible. It's one of those, "Who buys this sh*t?" questions, which in this case the answer is probably "no one". Leading to the next question, "Who green-lights this sh*t?" Is that why your post starts out with a bit about being unemployed? LOL

    1. yes, I almost always connect up.

      Those pants are beyond, well, I thought it might be fun to see what the CFS would make of them, she'd probably call them a "wear-everywhere classic." But then I just couldn't.

  5. Clearly all you need are a pair of chartreuse platform pumps and a fuchsia shrunken jacket over a liberty print shirt to have a work appropriate covet-able outfit. Oh, I forgot the bubble necklace. Tick tock.

  6. indeed.

    designed by a committee?

    soon to be knocked off at a JC near you.


As Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, if you've got anything bad to say, sit next to me! No, really, please remember to be kind, and don't say anything fred's mother would not approve of (Diner's mom didn't approve of anything. Including fred.)
Wellfedfred and the Whining Diner reserve the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this blog without notice if we find:
1. Comments deemed to be spam or questionable spam
2. Comments including profanity or objectionable language
3. Comments containing concepts that could be deemed offensive
4. Comments that attack a person individually
and since there's been a flood of spam lately, we're trying the Robot thing to see if we can block some spam...