I have three pennies. In the official parlance, that’s three one cent pieces. They’re the remains of my savings. Last year, when I made the switch from multinational conglomerate bank to a credit union that had an interest rate greater than 0.05% on their savings account, I took all of my money out of the one and went across the street to deposit it in the other. The next day, however, the bank called me back: they couldn’t close my account quite yet. In the interim, the phantom of my money in savings had accrued interest! Three cents, to be exact. I had to go back to the bank.
The first trip was relatively painless but this one was much more ludicrous and actually took longer than the initial trip to close out my account. When things got to be finalized, however, I told them, naturally, that I wanted my savings in cash. They actually brought it out to me in one of those blue leathery ziploc deposit bags: these three pennies.
I decided then and there that these pennies, the remnants of an account I’d had for the better part of a decade, must all have a specific fate. I sequestered them into a separate pocket and have kept them set aside for their destinies. They are, in chronological order:
#1 – 1974, Denver Mint
The oldest and most tarnished of the three. This one features a one “Abraham Lincoln” character on the front. I get the feeling this isn’t the last we’ll see of him. Being made after 1946 but before 1982, this one is brass. Specifically, it’s 95% copper and 5% zinc, according to the almighty Wikipedia. As with all three pennies, the reverse features the Lincoln Memorial.
#2 – 1980, Philadelphia mint
This one is still fairly ruddy but noticeably less worn than penny numero uno. It has a lot in common with the first penny, from it’s Lincolnlike visage to its metallic composition. It, however, was made sometime after I was born. Also, in Philadelphia.
#3 – 2007, Denver mint
Easily the newest and shiniest of my hoarded savings, as a newer penny it’s hardly copper at all. All pennies made from 1983 to the present day are largely zinc, with only 2.5% of its composition being copper, most of which is the pure copper plating. Like the other two, it is worth more as metal than as a one cent piece owing to inflation.
So, as we’ve learned, there is a lot of information about the penny on Wikipedia. Also, zinc is apparently highly toxic to dogs and parrots, so stop feeding your pets newer pennies. And we know their densities but what, prey tell, are their destinies? I’ve identified a few possibilities, some distinct fates to which I shall leave these forlorn farthings. The list of possibilities so far…
- Wishing Well/Fountain (of course)
- Turn into a souvenir in a penny-flattening machine
- Flatten on the train tracks (although this is too similar to the above)
- Use as a fuse (not really, that’s actually kind of dangerous)
Okay, so I’ve actually only got two ideas but, alas, three pennies. I’m keeping them in a certain coat pocket, ready for that inspiration to strike at a moment’s notice! Or when I find a wishing well. But as to the fate of the third penny… I am open to suggestions. Anyone?
March 28th, 2012
Apparently, today is World Poetry Day and while I’m not generally not given to sharing my poetry, I’ll make an exception today. I promise it won’t be a regular thing! So here’s a poem I wrote back in… January, perhaps. Maybe December. Sometime back in winter when the weather was warmer, anyway.
feelings fierce but these days fleeting
a force inside me drives the swell
is working hard not its own reward?
then why am i an empty shell?
something there that calls for change
or, at least, a reckoning
ne’er to be had if it all stays the same
with all that is there beckoning
i feel i can no longer trust
the truths they lay out thus
insinuating that my best interests
are even a part of their hearts
so i sit under a soggy sky
in a pub garden, bothered by flies
waiting to live, waiting to try
never say never, never say die
the fury may have been capricious
as angst gives way to just ennui
anger becomes a song on repeat
expression compressed into mp3
then i feel a lifting to sweep up the feet
perhaps to be bolder and lighten the beat
and soldier always on
the storm is best before we’re drawn
March 21st, 2012
Right now I’m listening to music while working and Frankie Rose’s “Moon In My Mind” just came on. It’s a track I haven’t heard before– the album is fairly recent– but it instantly gets earmarked because, well, it’s damn good. Equal parts atmosphere and driving pulse, it came out of nowhere.
It strikes me as an extended metaphor for other things rattling around in my world. I’m someone who loves to find new music; I will go to lengths to hunt it down, to find a gem of some unheard song that will one day become, in a way, a part of who I am. And sometimes, there are an embarrassing number of new things that are all fantastic and they all come out at once and you’ve got tunes to spin for days on end. You’re like an archaeologist of the future, endlessly digging up things that will one day be treasures.
And sometimes… there’s nothing. Not on the radio. No discoveries online or in the record bins. No new recommendations from friends. Months pass, nothing. And you just can’t force these things, no matter how hard you work at it.
But then one day you’ll get hit by that bolt of proverbial lightning. You weren’t looking for it, you weren’t even hoping for it anymore, but the result is all the same: you get tingly all over, your hair stands on end, and all the world seems like it just might work out alright.
March 12th, 2012
Sometimes a list is born out of just wanting to listen to more Morphine. So here we are…
||What’s Your Name
||Gold & Platinum
||My Name Is
||The Slim Shady LP
||That’s Not My Name
||The Ting Tings
||We Started Nothing
||Mary Won’t You Call My Name?
||Cure For Pain
||Yes (rockin’ live version)
||My Black Name A-Ringin’
||My Black Name A-Ringin’/td>
||Remember His Name
||Power In Numbers
||I Call Your Name
||B for My Name
||My Name Is Mud
||Sister, Do You Know My Name?
||The White Stripes
||You Don’t Know My Name
||Everybody’s In Showbiz
||I Heard Her Call My Name
||The Velvet Underground
||White Light / White Heat
||She Cries Your Name
||You Don’t Know My Name
||The Diary of Alicia Keys
||My Name Is Young
||Stone Cold Rhymin’
||A Boy Named Sue
||At San Quentin
- Shel Silverstein wrote “A Boy Named Sue”, but you probably already knew that.
- YouTube comments finally confirmed today what I thought for years was just me going crazy: “My Name Is Young” uses different samples on the CD and the cassette versions. The linked to version here is the cassette version, which I haven’t heard in years (although I think I still have the tape).
March 3rd, 2012