Archive for July, 2008

There was a rambling post about being back here in Indiana again, but it really didn’t make much sense.   So I’ve deleted those sappy paragraphs and instead have decided to give a go at one of those bulleted brain-dump things.

  • It was quite cool getting ice cream at the Grabill Dairy Sweet yesterday.   Apparently all the Amish families go there on a Sunday evening to get a family treat.   At one point the number of buggies outnumbered the number of cars.
  • The Tour de France is completely sucktastic this year.  There are endless talks about how the players are all clean and that icky drugs aren’t gumming up the works.   No one is making any mention about how corrupt the governing body is, and how much of the drug controversy was at their insistance–born of a jingoistic need to flush the Americans out of lead places.   I remain quite unhappy that Floyd Landis has been irrevocably stripped of his title, and doubly angry that the governing body has not been entirely replaced and the testing protocols revamped.
  • There is nothing more libertarian than the Fourth of July.   The way we celebrate it is the perfect allegory for libertarianism.  I’ve had to contend with my dad’s absurd arguments against libertarians (“I believe in stoplights”) for portions of this trip.   But what he doesn’t seem to understand is that real libertarianism happens at the 4th of July.   Everyone gathers to watch the big fireworks show (sponsored by Centennial Wireless), but while they waited all of the groups around us made their own decisions about fireworks.   Some, like us, decided to sit and wait while just visiting with one another.  Others put on fantastic shows of their own, spending as much or as little as they liked on sparklers, firecrackers and large skyward displays.    That’s the way of true modern libertarianism.   We allow some things to be the provence of the State or central body because we understand that a large undertaking (preferably privatised) can be most spectacular and reach the greatest number of people.  Yet in our heart of hearts we believe that people are responsible and can make their own decisions.   They can spend what they want to enhance their enjoyment or meet their needs.
  • I will say, though, that as a rabid gun rights fanatic that some events of the fourth of july need some clarification.  GUNS ARE NOT TOYS.   Yes, they are loud and like fireworks can go “boom”.   But a gun is a tool.   Like a hammer, a saw or a screwdriver a gun has a specific purpose.   That purpose does not include firing it in the air and chuckling about where the bullets may land.    There were several articles online and in the local Fort Wayne paper about people using guns to celebrate the 4th.   Those articles seemed bound and determined to push the point that guns should be taken away because some people are idiots about their usage.   That’s why I think it’s important for folks like me–who believe in the imperative of gun freedoms–to emphasise the point that GUNS SHOULD BE HANDLED RESPONSIBLY.

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I was looking for a bag to pack my travel knitting in. In which to pack my travel knitting. Whatever. Nevermind the sheer optimism of an arthritic thinking that she’ll be able knit. (It’s kind of cute, actually.)

Turns out, the closet where I keep my travel knitting bags is also the closet I never go in. (I don’t like to travel.) Because it’s the closet I never go in, that’s where I put a lot of my Casey memorabilia. Because it’s the closet I never go in, I forgot that all that stuff was in there.

Do you know what a sucker punch to the groin feels like? I imagine it’s something like opening a closet door and seeing life-sized toy dogs which look like the beloved animal you put to sleep four and a half months ago.

Needless to say I took a small break from packing to have a little cry.

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I have now reached the point where I have more fobs and grocery store cards on my keychain than I do keys.

The solution is clear. I must either buy another car, vacation home or a steamer trunk with multiple locks.

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A few short hours from now I will be swimming.


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One of the odd things about having a blog is that after a few years you get used to being read by the same handful of people. The luckier and better blogs than I have a bigger handful, but it’s still generally the same group.

To this day it weirds me out a little when I get a comment from an Unknown To Me Entity. It usually takes me a minute and then I’m all “Oh, yeah. This is the Internet.”

Apparently one of my Wall*E posts is in the top Google hits for “Wall E Propaganda”, which is why all of these strangers have been dropping in.

The good thing is that I’ve got enough of those type of posts that my blog has become largely self-sustaining. During the weeks when I don’t write anything I can still eke out about 150 hits a day with just the random posts that bring people here.

Not surprisingly the number one self-generating topic is the whole employment service/getting threatened with lawsuits fiasco from a year ago. I get about five comments a week and fifty hits a day from that one. Then there’s the dozen or so hits a day I get on the whole Battlestar Galactica / Bob Dylan mashup. And the Harry Potter’s Penis thing. Other posts, though, surprise me. I don’t know if they’re insecure girls or fetishists or magazine editors looking to make a point, but I get anywhere from five to fifteen hits a day on searches for “fat girl formals“; “what do fat girls wear to formals” and “dresses for fat girls.”

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I suggest you watch “Breaking Away”.

I love that movie.

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It was a good thing we were in the drive-in, and that I have a sturdy car. Because you could have knocked me over when (Put On Your) Sunday Clothes came warbling over the speakers with Michael Crawford’s familiar voice.

My parents didn’t allow Rock and Roll in the house until I was eleven, and then only grudgingly. (I give them credit for not making it totally forbidden.) But they truly loved music and had one of the best record collections I’d ever seen. I think to this day they probably regret letting me have free access to all that music, seeing as how stacks of vinyl would be strewn around the living room and my odd dj-ing of a peculiar variety of showtunes usually blared everyone out of the house.

Certain things–the smell of vinyl in old cardboard, the scratch of a needle on a record and the slight static hiss of a hi-fi speaker make me feel like a kid again. But none of those things are as evocative of my childhood as some of the songs. “I Got Plenty O’ Nuthin” from Porgy and Bess. “L’Chaim” from Fiddler On The Roof. “The Farmer And The Cowman Should Be Friends” from Oklahoma. If you asked, and you’re probably not going to, I could sing Fiddler, Oklahoma and Hello, Dolly straight through from their opening songs to the Finales. Oh, and Sound Of Music, too. (The Good version from Broadway with “How Can Love Survive” and “Ain’t No Way To Stop It” and without that stupid “somewhere in my youth or childhood” song from the movie.) I used to get up every morning when I was a small child and sing various snatches of those musicals while swinging on the swings. Our neighbours hated it, but my parents never made me stop.

Of those musicals “Hello, Dolly” is the bounciest, cheeriest and most full of fun from beginning to end. There are no Nazis, no lynchings and no pogroms. Just out and out hysterical optimism. The goofiest optimism comes from Barnaby and Cornelius’ virgin hopefulness and bubbles over in “Sunday Clothes” and “Elegance”. I realise now that I can’t sing to save my life, but over the last few years I realised that dogs are a captive audience and they don’t really mind my singing. So nearly every morning while I get dressed I sing either “Sunday Clothes” or “Elegance” to the dogs. Well, now it’s just “dog”. In fact, before he died Casey loved to hear me sing “Elegance” especially. Every time I’d break into it with the enthusiastic “Yes! New York it’s really us!” that goofy dog would give me the biggest grin and wag his tail.

Because I’ve been singing those songs for so long and in private I think I fooled my brain into thinking that they belonged to me. To hear Sunday Clothes bounce through the opening of the movie just made me glad.

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