"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep"
The Quest is over
Did I ever tell you that I have found Utopia? Well, I have, and as might be expected I wasn't even looking for or thinking about Utopia at the time. I was standing in line here, and when I looked up I saw this:
Hello, my name is
How can I help you?
Yes, indeed. Utopia works at Jewel-Osco. How utterly depressing.
Looks like a week or two until I get the parts for my next Pooter. :(
There is no one in my bed
No one in my mind
No one in my arms
No one of my kind
A friend of mine scored tickets to see one Sir Paul McCartney the other night. I don't mind saying I'm green with envy, red with jealousy, and every other color / emotional combination you can think of. Dustin Beccue - aka Dusty, aka Dust aka Crusty, aka Mac (don't ask) - was kind enough to send me a lowdown of the show.
It was completely surreal. I was 30 feet away from my favorite Beatle. It was everything that I had hoped for X 10. The setlist was about 65% Beatles material, 30% Wings and 5% new stuff. About 1/3 of the way through the concert the rest of the band went backstage and it was just Paul playing organ, piano, acoustic, and he did "Something" as a tribute to George on a frickin' ukulele and completely blew my mind. He told a little story about George and about how he loved the ukulele. He said you could go over to George's home and there would be about 50 guys, including George, all sitting around jamming to the same song on ukulele.
The highpoint in the night for me was when he did "Blackbird" by himself on an acoustic guitar. It was the most beautiful thing that I have ever heard.
To top everything off, it was John's birthday. How crazy is that? He started talking about John and telling stories about stuff the two of them had done together and then he said, "I know this seems a bit mad, but let's all sing him Happy Birthday." So we did. Hell, I would have paid $300 bucks just to sit there and listen to him tell stories.
I don't think I'll ever be the same.
Good News, Bad News, Good News, Bad News . . .
The good news is, the problem wasn't with my hard drive - which means I haven't lost years of work (I know, back-up everything!)
The bad news is the problem was with my motherboard.
The good news is I am upgrading to 1.8GHz processor.
The bad news is I am now broke.
Posting will be light until I can either figure out why my puter won't boot or I can find someplace to fix it. For now, I'll just leave you with a very short, but dense poem by Margaret Atwood.
you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
Is it mine?
All my life I have hated, HATED chocolate milk. A few weeks ago, I was strolling past the cold drinks in a convenience store - soda ugh, water not gonna cut it today, juice huh uh, chocolate milk no wa- . . . Damn that looks good.
WTF do you mean that looks good, you hate that stuff
Curiosity got the better of me. I bought a bottle, and it wasn't too bad, but I thought it was just a one time thing. Since then I've bought six bottles. The craving won't go away.
I wonder if I'm pregnant.
Cagey - Pt. V
When you're stuck someplace for eight hours, every moment becomes nothing more than a passage into the next. The routine is a well memorized maze. The schedule becomes doors that open and close at timed intervals. It doesn't matter if you know the entire route. It is no longer a question of intelligence or skill, but merely a test of patience. A waiting game. If you find your way to door number two twenty minutes before it opens, well, then there's really nothing left to do but sniff the walls.
I suppose that is why at the end of the school day, when that last door opened, the sense of freedom was overwhelming. A glorious feeling that surged with every step I took toward my car. It rushed through me with such force that it was sometimes hard to keep from running. But it was also a release. A letting go, if only temporarily, of all the questions, worries, and bullshit I had accumulated throughout the day. It didn't matter that the interior of my car was stained and ripped. It didn't matter that the paint had oxidized into a dull semblance of charcoal. All that mattered was that it was mine, and I could go anywhere, and do anything I wanted. I was free - for an hour.
It was a small victory, or perhaps even an illusion, but the effect was the same. And besides, going to work didn't bother me. There wasn't much of a routine, and it really wasn't that much work. If I hustled, I could usually have all the returned movies back on the shelf and the displays all straightened within the first half hour, which left another three and a half to do pretty much whatever I wanted.
It was a day like that when Sarah came into the store for the first time. One of those April days that gave promise to the warmth and freedom of summer.  I was reciting the lines of Cool Hand Luke along with the tape when the synthesized bell on the front door chimed. Sarah and one of her friends I had seen, but never met walked in.
"Uh . . Hey baby!"
Something was wrong - out of place or maybe it was her friend, I don't know, but I began to feel very self-conscious. There was none of the familiar comfort of our usual banter.
"Working." Brilliant. I think she figured that much out.
She gave this half smirk, and glanced down at my doodle covered notebook on the counter. "Doesn't look like your working too hard."
"Yeah, well . . ."
My mind was racing, but I couldn't fomulate a thought - it just kept racing through its own void. Suddenly, I wanted them to leave. I don't know why, except there seemed to be too much pressure on this conversation. Some part of me saw this as pivotal.
"This is Jamie."
"Hi, I'm Eric" I managed. My cheeks were blazing.
"So what movie do you recommend?" Sarah asked.
Movies? We have movies here? I glanced at the TV.
"Cool-" No! They want a new one.  I grabbed the new release list and slid it in front of them. "I've gotta do some stuff back here. Let me know when your ready." I said, already halfway into the storeroom. I hadn't meant to stay back there. I just needed a moment to pull my head out of my ass, but the longer I sat back there, the less control I felt over myself, and the more certain I became that I would end up with both feet in my mouth if I went back out there. I heard the static from the TV as the tape ended. I heard their muffled voices, and then, finally, I heard the chime of the front door.
They say nothing is greater than wisdom. It's what ol' Solomon asked for, and look at everything he acquired. Brett had said something one time about how stoicism was the wisdom of madmen, and cynicism was the madness of wise men. I don't know how true any of that is, but when I walked out into the empty store, surrounded by my own incompetance, I remember thinking, "To hell with wisdom - just give me some wit."
My puter locked up while I was typing this entry (I'm in one of the campus labs) , and now it will not reboot. No video - , nothing. If anyone has an idea about what I should check first, please leave a comment or email me.
A new blogger is on the rise. He possesses a particularly discerning eye for vague, illogical, and grossly absurd arguments in the press. I only wish I had as much of a grasp on philosophy as he does. This is definitely one to watch kids. Go. Read. Enjoy.
Sometimes, you can't sleep in. Not because your neighbor is creating bowling ball lawn art with a chainsaw, nor because you live under a group of Gregorian monks who insist on belting out "I Wanna Be Sedated" at dawn. No, sometimes, your brain just makes the transition from sleep to full consciousness (literally) in the batting of an eye.
I dreamt of a woman last night. A familiar, brown-haired, brown-eyed beauty I have never met before. Familiar because she was a unique combination of ex's and friends. Sounds exciting, eh? It should have been.
Things were going well, we had reached one of those rare instances in a relationship where you think the comfort level is high enough to tell the other person almost anything. Almost. There is always that tinge of trepidation. So I did. Her questions elicited from me the most embarrassing thing I could have possibly told her. Did she laugh? Did she ridicule? No, it was worse. She didn't believe me at all. I couldn't convince her of this horribly embarrassing fact that I hadn't been entirely keen on sharing in the first place.
Steinbeck once wrote, "Three things will never be believed - the true, the probable, and the logical. [. . .] Ars est celare artem."
Chicago is once again living up to its nickname. Wind and rain, and did I mention wind? Opening a window means listening to the incessant rattling of doors in their jams or suddenly slamming shut. Oh how I dread winter - the cold, the wind, the 15 minutes of wrapping myself up in layer upon layer of clothing just to walk a few blocks. Waiting for the El in the wind funnel of I-290. Ugh.
I suppose some of the apprehension goes back to being a kid - school starting again, the days getting shorter, etc. and all those great childhood memories of summer. My memories are snapshots - flashes of cutoffs, creeks, and fields . . . baseball and lightening bugs. The days never really ended, they just kind of melded into the next wide-open adventure.
Molly "don't know jack about economics" Ivins
I have the immense pleasure of introducing Michael Van Winkle as a guest blogger today. Michael earned his B.A. in Political Science (graduating with honors) from UIC, and studies philosophy with a passion that is becoming increasingly rare.
For reader convenience, I have taken the liberty of posting a short excerpt of Molly Ivins original column below. Let the scourge begin.
Those of us who live in arid areas and have been through droughts already know how grave and concrete the consequences of running short of water are. [. . .] what is needed is swift international action. Only 5 percent of the water supply is now in corporate hands, but this administration, along with the IMF and World Bank, is pushing for privatization. The House version of a bill currently moving through Congress, the Water Investment Act, would provide funds for cities to upgrade or expand their water systems and also has a nasty little provision that would provide public subsidies to private water companies.
Perils of capitalism? Try telling Californians that corporations don't rig prices.
Molly Ivins successfully demonstrated her misunderstanding of capitalism in her Oct. 3 piece entitled “Perils of Capitalism?"
In a private system, where profit motivates prices, diminishing supply creates a corresponding rise in prices. This provides a natural incentive to reduce overall water consumption. In a public system prices come under political pressures and can remain artificially low due to the political incentives against raising prices. This leads to the very shortages that Ivins laments.
In California, had consumer energy costs been allowed to rise to meet the increasing costs of energy production, the energy debacle there would never have taken place.
As for Bolivia, while I don’t know the details, it might be that a drastically needed price spike will correct the distorted market created by government ownership and thereby stave off shortages such as those we have seen out west.
Molly, I suggest you look into you local college’s ECON101 offerings.
Always open for discussion, Michael welcomes all comments. Email him at email@example.com or leave them below.
Your hard as Jell-o hitting news source for the Blogsmos and beyond
First up, in an attempt to match her success last year, NerdyGirl is planning on writing yet another 50,000 word novel in 30 days. She says her strategy includes lots of "rum & cokes," and "a karaoke bar." When pressed for details, her face became shrouded in veil of seriousness and wonderment before stating quite simply, "Contractions no longer exist."
From the Fascinating Medical Breakthrough file, Da Goddess brings us this late-breaking story about the benefits of ogling breastesesesss. Dr. Karen Weatherby has conducted a five year study in which she discovered that 10 minutes of staring at a woman's gems is equal to spending 30 minutes in the gym.
In House and Home news, Dawn has moved to a "Deluxe Apartment in the sky," and apparently is quite smitten with her new abode. What does such a prime piece of Blogsmos real estate costs? Dawn says with a smile, "I will baby-sit her [landlord's] children, I will worship the ground she walks on" [. . .] and she " will be getting monthly tongue baths from me."
Last, but not least, Hoopty brings us a touching piece which manages to straddle that vague line separating The Sports Report from The Literature Review. Wherever you decide to stick it, those of us here at the Floppy Copy guarantee it will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy in all your private (or not so private, as the case may be) places.
Reality Check #2
I stated my view on American Candidate a couple of weeks ago, but today's Chicago Tribune Ellen Warren asks, "Why shouldn't a reality TV show pick our next president?"
Anybody who immediately dismisses the idea of the "American Candidate" show hasn't checked into what the presidential election system has become.
I already stated that there are considerable problems with the campaigns, but a comparison between our election system and a reality TV show (oxymoron anyone?) is absolutely absurd - but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Then consider the debacle of the 2000 Florida vote counting. [. . .] Judging from some of the inhabitants of the White House and the way they got there, the current electoral system has already [made a mockery of] itself.
Are you still whining about that? News flash: Florida didn't cost Al Gore the election; Ralph Nader did. Do the math.
Or the impenetrable idiocy of the Electoral College that makes a mockery of the one-man-one-vote concept.
My dear Ellen, that 'idiocy', as you call it, increased the political power of African-Americans and other minority groups. Perhaps you would like to do away with that, and move to a true one-man-one-vote system. Furthermore, with the Electoral College, there isn't a single geographical region that controls the majority of the votes. Should the urban voters have dominance over rural voters?
The Weblogs New Clothes
So whaddya thmink? Good? Bad? Ugly?
Overheard a conversation today, about the chances of electing a female president. Personally, I don't think it will happen until 2012 at the earliest. That is not to say that I am against having a female president, it just seems to me that society in general still has a ways to go.
It got me thinking, though. What if Bill Clinton would have been a woman? If Billie had been caught with a male intern, would the results have been the same? Would Americans, and the press in particular raked her over the coals? Would she have been impeached? Would they have called the President of the United States of America a slut?