Monday, April 24, 2006

Run for the Exits - and Watch Out for That Right Eyebrow...! Posted by Picasa

10 Days in the Country

If this was a conspiracy, it was one of Events. A death, a dislocation, a disconnection (very much in descending order of importance), while I got some teeth ripped out and replaced. Not quite replaced, yet - we're 2/3 there, but that's the setting. The dislocation was to a small river town on the Columbia, where my sister chose to live and where she chose, very kindly, to look after me.

Anyone - certainly all of you who read here - can duplicate the disconnection on their own; pretend you're on dial-up, limit yourself to 30 minutes a day connection time, max - also strictly broadcast TV channels, no cable access. Actually, add to this no computer access at all, even off-line. I brought mine with me, but she had cleverly put obstacles between every electrical outlet and my box, so after a little exploring, it was clear that I'd have to fall back on older technologies. E-mail checks only, and at her convenience (I still think, after nearly 10 years on-line myself, that she harbors suspicions that I'm Up to No Good when I log on - I do not intend to wise her up). For some of even the most Progressive people, e-tech - indeed, almost any tech - is suspect, and likely to be e-vil. My sister is as determinedly Progressive as they come, but I had the feeling that she was scanning me for signs of having, you know, imps or familiars hanging around in my aura. Maybe I should never have mentioned my love for Buffy all those years ago....

While my sis moved where she did for the Quiet Life, it's no Red County in a Blue State - it went 51% to 47% for Kerry in 2004 - and if you walk a couple of blocks down the road, you'll find Safeway shoppers and staff who will go out of their way to help you, and who probably like their Jon Stewart and Olbermann, too. Bet they check out The American Street (they live on it), or FDL (where Jane is a p/t Oregon resident), too. I was stuck with Mrs. Miniver (literally - it was the featured DVD my last night there, no arguments - and fucking appalling).

As far as the old technologies went, I was able to finish books I had put off for months. See above for one of those. That was a joy, but I still felt penned - and is there anything worse than not being able to share jokes with someone you love, with whom you have a great fund of shared experience, and who now wants to hear only about what is comfortable and familiar, which does not include you? I made great friends with the cat, but both of us ended up pussyfooting around together, avoiding the tripwires.

So, finally, there was no trend to be found out there. The particular and the personal were the vivid things, and they can't be categorized, or be made to fit a scheme or a plot. I just hope I don't have to watch Greer Garson again, for a long, long time.

[Update/Second Thoughts - Weltschmerz Edition: Among other thrills, Tom Delay resigned during the 10 Days described above. I couldn't help thinking, under the circumstances, of all the delicious snark, all the sharp analysis, I was missing. I wasn't getting any from broadcasts; poor Mike Allen of TIME looked poleaxed (and fumbled for words) on the PBS Newshour - you'd have thought he'd lost a mealticket. It was Norman Ornstein who gave the story some structure, and quite unsentimentally {he must have some special dispensation from his robot masters to be insightful).
Once I was all moved in and reconnected, it took at least two or three days to catch up on the posts of the few dozen sources I read regularly. It's now two weeks from that day, and I'm finally feeling properly oriented. I also hang my head for complaining about anything after seeing Michael Bérubé's list of meds he was on last week - and he was writing, and posting...!
There will be a lit post tonight, on the wonderful Alan Hollinghurst. I'm not sure about the Google-y ads, but am willing to give it a shot - more on that later, too. ]

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mary Anne, and the luscious Ginger.... Posted by Picasa

Mary Anne, or Ginger?

It's that time of year again, and time to choose a Chosen One (you know, Rite of Spring, all that...). Let's all pretend we are Anne Baxter and we have to decide between Mary Anne and Ginger. My favorite teacher of maybe all time was named Marianne, so if I chose her it would be almost incestuous, and that's criminal in most states, so I'm a Ginger Boy.

Now it's YOUR turn.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Only a week away from full re-connection. Expect a flurry of postings (not least on the agony of being unplugged from my accustomed sources of is no wonder a third of the country persists in believing BushCo fantasies, if what reaches them through the airwaves alone is any evidence). Have much reading, of a literary nature, to report on, too - and that's balanced the isolation.

Cheers to all who've stuck with me - you will be rewarded very soon.

Update : Yeah, like - what, 12 days later? Sorry about that - it's been very goofy with the move, the re-settling and the General Chaos (and yes, that's a Butters reference....). More tonight..