Thursday, November 30, 2006

I try to avoid eye contact with strangers when I'm in an enclosed space. Like the bus. In the morning. Despite this aversion, I always sit in one of the sideways-facing seats, so I end up face-to-face with a stranger or two with whom I do not want to share that intimate moment that freezes in time when your eyes recognize their eyes and vice versa and all kinds of frantic interpersonal hell breaks loose as you each register and acknowledge the moment and try to figure out who was looking at who and why and where to look next.

So I stare out one of the long, rectangular panes of glass above and across and watch the city go by. And I've realized that this is kind of like watching a long atmosphere shot in a movie. The music comes up—this morning it was Toumani Diabaté and Ballake Sissoko's "New Ancient Strings"—and the camera tracks right, across the intersection of Sedgwick & North, down past Cobblestone Place and the Noble Horse and so on. Much depends on the weather. Summer sun works well and good with new music, but I've found I prefer a damp morning set to stringy instrumentals—the skyscraper tops disappearing into the thick, rolling gray. Maybe some mist hanging around in the ribs of the el and workmen in orange hammering around the trunk of an Orleans warehouse.

Dave G once told me when my hair was long under my ball cap that I looked like a filmmaker. Maybe I should have been. One's life should match one's hair. And I already have a few atmosphere shots in mind. And the lights come up:

Enter Waxman in a wool overcoat. He turns and closes the door. Glenna is already there, sitting at the kitchen table. Smoke rises from an untended cigarette. The tendrils twist aflame in sunlight.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm not quite sure right now how I feel about the holidays. This happens. It happens. And a sense of dread overwhelms me. I fear I will give and receive all the wrong presents. That my friendships will be destroyed by some poorly wrapped, ill-chosen bauble. My armpits sting at the thought. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I am weary from having to be so wary so early.

I jogged the streets last night after work. I jogged around in the dark until my thighs and calves burned. But it didn't help.

Nothing seems to help. Could it be that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder even though I love this weather? Does the "season" refer to the actual changes in climate and sunlight or the inane cycle of shop & spend to which we subject ourselves?

Don't answer that.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In light of yesterday's post, here's a good primer on what "bipartisanship" means to George Bush.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

[When I got to the bus stop this morning, I couldn't help but smile when I saw the front page of the NYT.]

Last night on MSNBC, as the full scope of the numbers came into focus, republican Dick Armey lamented his colleagues' loss: "They don't deserve this. These are good people; they don't deserve to lose their jobs." [Yes, Dick. They do.] He sounded like a man destroyed, unable to come to grips with the fact that many of his friends on Capitol Hill were headed to the D.C. soup kitchen.

Dick then lectured the democrats on how to legislate successfully. He told them that the only way to mend the fences trampled by the destructive partisanship his republicans have wrought is to side with President Bush on his immigration bill.

Seriously. This was his advice.

Because apparently the worst thing the democrats could do with the power and responsibility they've been given is to go against the ruling family. No, in Armey's mind, the voters of America cleaned out Congress because they want someone to go in there and give Bush what he wants for once.

Dick Armey: plummeting toward irrelevance.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This should be a wild one. Now get out there and vote.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Prepare your body and soul for the 10th anniversary edition of "Infinite Jest."

Then read this.

Hat tip to The Howling Fantods.

I need another cup of coffee. I need it for my bones—to replenish my marrow. I call it Osteo-caffeination™. It's the latest in new-age therapy that I invented. It completes you more than sign language on the elevator ever could.

Who's coming with me?

I try to keep a cool head as the country heads headlong into Another Crucial Tuesday. Voters across the country sharpen their wits, although some (too many) dine on the lazy conventional wisdom of a media that does Truth, Facts & Levity no favors. Meanwhile, the people who appreciate the angles toil away in near obscurity in a noble attempt to wake us up.

I'm up! I'm up! Damn. Now if only I could get my priorities in order.

A cold wind blows in from the northwest. My ear tops redden at the friction as I disembark the bus and come out of a corner. I wear the winter coat today and my eyes well up in headwind as I head headlong into Another Busy Thursday. Where am I? What am I doing here? Ah, yes. I'm making and drinking cheap coffee. Sucking back rich black flames with vim. Feeding my hungry marrow.

It's been a helluva morning. We have a long way to go. I encourage you all to look inside your hearts and find the beat. And tap your feet.