- 12 jan 2003 -

I attended a small gathering of journalers during the last weekend of 2002, and someone in that tiny crowd was a carrier of a virulent pathogen.  I will assume it was an airborne virus only because the thought of an infected partygoer using her lips like the tip of an assassin's umbrella crumbles the very bedrock in my trust of this online community.  It is only within the last two days that I have reacquired my equilibrium and extracted, via a series of symphonic honks and wheezy bleats, a potato-sized glop of mucus the nature of which was to capture and absorb my best insights and creative thoughts and send them not to any vital memory centers but to a nasal holding pen for ventilation directly into Kleenex after Kleenex so that now the smartest thing in the room is the waste bin by the bed.

Luckily, Viv had New Year's week off from work, so I was able to mourn loudly about my condition and make demands for meal service without having to press daughter Amy into service as my nursemaid, the proper duty of a wife in such times.  In between the chicken soup and spongebaths, I suggested to my spouse that perhaps now would be a good time for her to don a halter top and thong to polish my massive Harley out in the driveway, in full view of Mike, the jealous neighbor.  But even in my woozy state I was able to see the cruelty this would demonstrate, and as we were still in the Christmas spirit, we decided to save that sort of excitement for his upcoming birthday.

My plan for great Harleyesque road adventures was nixed, of course, as were my hopes for the neighborhood New Year's Eve party, which, alas, went on without me.  Rumors of that night have worked their way back to me and, as I suspected, without my bubbly self the festivities ended up being reminiscent of waiting in a frigid and grey Siberian depot for the midnight train to Minsk.

Instead, the bulk of my holiday was taken up by reading A People's History Of The United States by Howard Zinn.  It's a hefty little tome written by a man who, if you ever encounter a list with two names on it, and the first name is Noam Chomsky, it's a pretty good bet that the second one will be Howard Zinn.  The pretext is that of history written essentially from the losers' point of view, a fresh and noble quest certainly, and one we need more of.  But long around the tenth chapter the author's fabric becomes a bit threadbare insofar as the focus deals primarily with domestic labor politics in a world where international influences are clearly coming into play.  But I suppose that's what an author must do in order to sell books that don't require a forklift to remove them from the shelf.  It's well worth reading, though.  You might be surprised to find out how much 1846 is like 2003.


It's that time of year again when I remind you of that secret always-moving hotspot in my index page photo which serves as the gateway to some other journals I read.  The list there is by no means static, nor even indicative of my tendencies.  It's just my little narrow passageway to the bottomless pit in Injun Joe's Library.


A note about delirium.  While in the throes of that flu/cold/assassination attempt, I found myself, via medicine and overall malaise, in a frequently recurring state of delirium.  I discovered that for me personally such a state is enhanced and somewhat tolerable with the introduction via headphones of George Shearing music.  If you are unaware of George Shearing then you are most certainly culturally impoverished and my pity for you is strong.  The music, the delirium, and yes maybe a beaker or two of cough syrup, made for hour upon hour of hallucinatory scenarios of stratospheric ecstasy, wherein highly detailed concepts and visualizations washed like high tides into my consciousness and fostered not only new inventions but movements for great social reform.

I really must get sick more often, if only for the sake of the planet.


  today's music:

"Don't Know Why" -- Norah Jones -- COME AWAY WITH ME


today's wisdom:

"Disease is the retribution of an outraged nature."

-Hosea Ballou

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