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Trying to Get Unserious

posted at 11:01 am
on Mar. 26, 2003

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Don’t you hate that when you write something you think is all deep and wrought with meaning and people write you and say, “what a lovely little story.”

And then there’s other people thinking—isn’t this the journal where Travis talks about little personal things like how his right sock has a hole and it’s really satisfying to be able to wear socks and yet still scratch, I mean really scratch, your toes?  And PS what the hell does Mr. Variety.com know about global politics and American modern history?

Well, I’m going to dig myself in deeper for a few paragraphs and then get lighthearted. Here goes.

As way of brief explanation about my previous column: I’m not opposed the the goal of the war, but I am not in support of the process and people that brought us here, and I’m disappointed by the failure of the American government to live up to its own reputation—and I’m disappointed in myself for believing that it ever could.

I think this administration, more than anything, is creating the Greatest Generation of Cynics that this country has ever seen.  Susie has a class full of journalism students that she teaches—when young, smart journalists all say they feel powerless, and betrayed and ignored, and hopeless, that says something powerful about the state of the future of the country.

At the same time, I know many people in the military, and they are smart, passionate people who are putting their health and futures on the line for me. They know that war isn’t about killing people any more than sex is about getting exercise.  I have never once begrudged paying taxes for one simple reason—if I gave 25% of my revenue to Amazon.com, they still wouldn’t have one of their sales associates take a bullet for me, or run into a burning building to pull me out, yet that’s what the government provides, and I have only respect for the people who sign up to serve.

So, now I’m going to talk about bit about what’s going on at the toe scratching level instead of the political allegory level.

Well, for one, I have a fat and happy cat on my desk.  Her name’s Lukaska, and she’s fat.  Really Fat. I mean lying on her side, her belly obstructs the numbers on the top of my keyboard fat.

She’s happy, because my other cat just got back from the vet last week, after having some non-essential parts like claws and ovaries removed.  So Lukaska is now on a more level playing field with Aimee, Crash, Action Cat.  Aimee is limping around on one leg right now.  Her front paws hurt for obvious reasons, and her back leg seems to be strained probably because she tried to jump somewhere and landed funny.  Plus I think she’s milking it for attention and sympathy.  But it does mean that she can’t pounce on the other cat from high places.

I got my car smog checked—that means they stick a magic electric wand up the tail pipe and run tests to make sure the car is still in good health and not polluting the air over Los Angeles too much.  It’s like a prostrate exam for automobiles.  If you don’t get your car smog checked, you can’t renew your registration.

Susie and I had breakfast recent with our friend Evy.  Evy’s freelancing now, after having left Variety a few months ago.  She seemed happy and was doing quite well, and Susie and her had lots in common comparing what it’s like to be your own boss.

This weekend, Susie and I are heading to Palm Springs for a nice party with my high school friend Mike and his wacky and fun extended family.  His aunt is a desert dweller, how she manages to live in Palm Springs in the summer baffles me.

Two weekends ago, Susie and I went to Needles, California, which exists in a twilight zone of sprawl at the intersection of Arizona, Nevada and California.  Several things conspire to make it a disjointed location.  For one, it’s extremely hot and dry, yet it’s intersected by the Colorado River.  This is a huge river, but the terrain is so in-hospitable, that when drove into town and we were told to meet someone “on the other side of the bridge,” I thought they were lying about the landmark.

Because of Nevada’s casino laws, and the fact that there’s a Native American reservation nearby, you have the reality distortion field that comes with gambling and bright lights and extremely cheap restaurants and hotels.

And, because all three states keep track of time a little differently, you never really know what time it is.  Local movie listings say when a given movie starts, and includes the time zone.  It makes it extremely difficult to be on time for work.

We were there visiting Susie’s extended family, who happened to have a huge and beautiful cactus garden in their backyard.  They loaded up a large box of succulent clippings, which filled about 75% of the trunk of the Miata, and Susie spent Sunday putting them all in lovely pots which she has scattered throughout our front garden.  It’s like an Easter egg hunt for masochists.

That’s it from me today.  Goodnight.



 
 

 

Previous entry:
Hussein’s Last Dream

Next entry:
Wedding Time is Craft Time

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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