Why do people go for travels?

Human being is of curious nature. To discover new and exciting places, feasting the eyes with beauty of nature and meet with new peoples always excite anyone. To get these excitements people started traveling since very ancient days.

In India travel was developed in the form of ‘Tirth Yatra’ (pilgrimage). ‘Shantanu’, the father of ‘Shravan’, and his wife were blind and unable to travel but they were so curious for their ‘Tirth Yatra’ that his son ‘Shrvan’ made a ‘kanvar’, a special carrier, for his parents and he carried the kavad on his shoulder to fulfill their desire. The great ‘Devarshi Narad’ always used to be on travel only. The ‘Char Dhams’ were purposely made to facilitate and make popular the travels.

Herodotus from Greek made great travels in the 5th century BC. Chinese traveler Heuin Tsang traveled India in 7th Century. History of the world is full of great travelers like Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Odisseus, Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Przhevalsky, Afanasy Nikitin, Tur Heerdal, Jacque Coustau etc.

Traveling is a great attraction for people of any age. Children are most fond of traveling. Whenever there is any planning for tour and travel, they start being excited and making preparations since several days before from the start of journey.

People go on journey generally for:
  • Getting a change from daily routine life
  • Feasting their eyes by seeing the beautiful natural scenes like hills, forests, oceans, wild animals etc.
  • Visit mythological places

A Retreat

I've taken a room at Stratego's, Oakapalloka's most famous scion. Here he snaps my picture as I study graphs of the Bush Recovery, and monitor a Chinese space flight.

It's a beautiful house on the corner, a block from 'uptown'. This is one of those few very large houses from a century ago that weren't sectioned into apartments. When winter comes Stratego moves his media-room back upstairs somewhere, usually to a room he hasn't tried for years. This one was last discovered in 1977.

My room will have only two monitors on the world. But, he says, at least it has a nice south light for the plants.
I sent hate-mail to an English-speaking Jihadist last night. Wow, the internet is amazing. I think I deleted the lines where I threatened to kill him, because I thought that might be illegal. But I left in the part about nailing his dick to the barn floor and setting the barn on fire (leaving him with a knife). So this morning I woke up and kind of freaked.

Then guess what? Yahoo returned the email, and I was so relieved. Then, two hours later I had a beer and sent it again.

I was all over the net last night, lecturing people. It makes me sick, even now.

Do you want to know how late I was up? I was up so late I actually sent some apologies. I was up so late, in other words, I started cleaning up after myself. That is late. Someone in the Micronesia wrote back "are you serious?"

Reach out and touch someone. It's almost impossible to exaggerate how fing amazing the internet is. When it gets late , you just cross over the time zones is all. Pick on somebody in the Phillipeans. Engage with a Jihadist in England. Mouth off and sign your name, Psmith. The only problem is that I can't direct my signal into my own home town. Oakapallokans are oblivious to the internet, to their credit.

What a waste of time.

sheyah, jinxon

Lunkhead is hilarious.
I've been mapping his mental decline over the last month, since he got on the internet. Now he's got some cyber-sweetie. An ether doll. An Imaginary.

During a online chat last night I suggested that maybe 'she' was a 'he'.

Now, you might think it's impossible to tell over chat when someone is having a panic attack. haha, not so, my friend, not so. He sent me her picture three times in thirty seconds to make sure I wouldn't miss it.

It's nice having a pal you can be unapologetically cruel to. I don't know. It sort of keeps me going. In this respect, Lunk has been my one and only for years. It's like love... except it's hate. (but no. It's not hate. I do love the guy).

Moreover, he's gone out and bought a web cam, having no idea how female that is. Or gay. Sheesh. He's the first guy who ever invited me to see his web-cam. Coincidentally, the olive-skinned Portuguese girl sent an invitation at the same time. I chose hers. She wanted me to see she'd stopped dying her hair. Then I chose his. He had all of his 15 kids wave hello. That was nice of course.

Then he starts quoting my friend Mark to me, about how liberating it is to give up blogging. I say, I know I have a problem, and that gives me the credentials to recognize you have a problem now.

He kept typing "sheyah". Every time I became slightly hypocritical it was: sheyah, Jackson.

I said even if she is female, 10 to 1 she's a communist. He said, well yeah, she is. Haha. Of course. She's from Eugene Oregon.

I said I might write her and introduce myself. I don't know what he thought I would say, that's so bad. I don't have anything to blackmail him, except maybe that I'm one of his friends. Then, wow. The Lunk was threatening to kill me and my family too. (Make a note of that).

Ok, I won't write her, stop blubbering, I type.

I'm thinking in a few weeks he'll be such a mess I can go down there and take over.

Maybe this is what I need to get off line. Kind of like, the crazier he gets, the loftier my spirit.
And did I mention he has 11 days off from work. hahaha. It's like he's falling into a crater.

Possibly The Last Straw

Mom has scheduled us for a family portrait this week. It's a great step for her, gathering her nerve after all these years. I remember the last time Mom attempted this, 38 years ago. She still cringes when she recalls the rebellion.

It was after Sunday school and church in November of 1965.

My two older brothers and my dad were learning what a ray of unwelcome, loving sunshine my mom could be, at wildly inappropriate times like when they all wanted to sleep in. Myself, I was still a little bit sweet at that age. I might have even gotten up before her. In fact, I may have woke her up and dragged her out of bed in those days. (I couldn’t make the oatmeal myself, you know.) I was an Early-Riser, a let's get on with the fun boy.

Maybe that’s why people hated me. Hell, I was so cute it was probably my fault she was so insufferably euphoric all the time.

No, really. I was almost Hollywood adorable at the time.

This day was a day of rage. Every Sunday was, for years to come, but this day of the portrait was practically revolutionary in scope.

Sunday school, church, and then what?!!

Dad switched sides that fateful day.

Mom’s rosy disposition had produced this sneering, resentful and even hateful rebellion from D and J, and that surely convinced him about Original Sin and the sheer devilishness of his children. And so he became the angry enforcer of Mom’s will on Sunday mornings, for years to come, and he bossed us into our Sunday best and, for ever after, was willing to order us to smile too.
There were many botched photos. David and Jerry were livid and scowling, and then I started to bawl. We’d been there an hour (it seemed to me but I didn’t have a watch) and my fascination with the tripod lights, the camera, and the white screens was over. I remember my sweater getting itchy at my neck because of my tears rolling down there.

I probably knew that if I cried, and stopped, everyone would love me for stopping.

I just wanted to cause a hic-cough in this insane family’s bickering, see? That's it.

And when the photographer presented me with a white rubber ducky I stopped crying, and everyone including my brothers were cooing at me because they were so damn relieved I’d stopped making noise.

The lights flashed again and everyone of us was smiling broadly that time. Me with my eyes wet.

The portrait has been on the mantle for years, of course. It was an achievement.
A year later my angry, red-headed cherry-bomb sister was born. The significance of her birth ---to me---was that Mom might try to make us sit for a portrait again.
But Jane’s personality quickly developed into a sort of pre-stamped, ultimate rebellion to my mother’s happy idealism. It was like she arrived with all our spoiled personalities wrapped into one.

Jane was vain and loved to be photographed, but not with us. I don't blame her.

(Speaking of her vanity, she made a clumsy attempt to steal a dress she liked when she was three years old, grabbing it from a hanger and running out of the Carousel gift shop, the idiot. Like Mom wouldn’t catch her---, ha! ---and where was she going to run, anyway? Geez, Jane, you were only two foot tall. )
We’re all going to kick again this week, I know.

It will be amusing looking into Jerry and David’s rolling and rebellious eyes, the day of the portrait when Mom makes everyone get up early and put on a suit.

I’m going to be so well behaved. That’ll settle it , who’s the good kid.

The Enemy

Please don't call these fucks at Trafalgar Square 'anti-war'. And don't ask me to credit the kids for being naive. They're listening to the speeches from the Muslim Alliance (or whatever it's called). They're adjusting their morals to fit that world view which abides suicide bombers.

How can people be so off their beam nowadays? This is no 'loyal opposition' here. "Young men go crazy because of Bush" and blow themselves up (murdering women and children), but didn't Bush and Blair drive them crazy?

Yes, we've driven these young men crazy! Poor young men (who, having a successful revolution, set up Islamic-fascist states like the Taliban and in Iran).

No, it's Bush and Blair with the fangs and the blood on their chins. And London's mayor says Bush is the most dangerous man in the world.

The speakers here love to repeat that, and thank god, it's true. I'm very happy our American president is in charge of WMD's.
Like the 'anti-war' protests on the mall in Washington D.C., you get the feeling here reminiscient of the German Bund rallies at Madison Square Garden during the 30's. A few pacifists are on stage here, true,--- old anti-nuke activists,--- but the crowd is driven to a cheering frenzy by the Islamists. As if they represent a liberation movement!

These folks are clearly not anti-war.

I know it's a bad sign, intellectually, when you can't even begin to sympathize with your opponents' view-point. But that's in a democracy, when both sides are trying to appeal to the middle.

But in war, you recognize your enemy. You recognize the enemy of civilization.

Or, you share the stage with them and become the enemy yourselves.
I find it very interesting, once I've gotten over my own urge to kill: these speakers who are still socially acceptable before Western audiences will often deny that Jihadists were responsible for 911 in the first place.

That is heartening. It shows, at least, that they think the attack on the towers was wrong.

A year or two ago, there was a 'but yet...'

Now, their speeches have changed. There's no denial.

Our pro-Israeli policies (that is, pro-democracy policies) are so egregious that young people go insane. And Bush Bush Boosh! is responsible.
It appears that the expected 1968 style 'days of rage' are a wash out, though. This morning's bombings in Turkey against the British (after bombings earlier this week against synagogues) have shamed most of the expected protester away. A blogger compared the turn-out to the number of protesters against the Augusta National country club for not admitting women. That's an exaggeration, but so are CNN's assertions that there were 'tens of thousands', apparently.

Common sense is going to prevail, surely. I worry sometimes myself, since I think the Left is under the hypnosis of rock and roll and hip hop. After all, it's hard to imagine how anyone who is deeply humanitarian can protest this war after those mass-graves were discovered. (All they can say is, why not go up against the other tyrants too...but you know they'd buck if we did. And what's wrong with starting at square one?)

Tonight my mom worried that she isn't a nice person anymore. She feels she ought to be anti-war, but knows she can't be now.

I hope our faddish British and American peace-nicks are coming to the same conclusion. Because it's pretty damn obvious that 'anti war' actually means 'anti-western' and pro-fascist "liberation".

Mark And Elly Update

Mark comments below:

"Still around, guys! We're enjoying married life and calling each other "wife" and "husband." It it starting not to sound so strange to our ears. "Mrs. Morris," when referring to Elly, however, still sounds a bit weird.

"The amazing thing about not blogging: the longer you go without it, the less importance you place on it. I may never blog again, but I still drop by old sites occasionally.

"Elly and I, or as I like to say now, the wife and I, may be moving soon. I'll keep you informed, John."

Up To Town

I guess I won’t be moving into the apartments above the old Mercy Clinic downtown. It sounded right for me, living above The Batman pharmacy and the Peanut Pub, but the kid who owns the pub said the ex-cons are about as thick as the cockroaches. The cons tried to break in here three times this month, so far. The cops are called so often, all the officers have a key to the security doors.

“Rent is weekly. It’s like that, ha-ha, you know?”

Does that include cable?

“Ha-ha.” Friendly kid. It was just him and me at 4 in the afternoon. He asked if I would join his new ‘beer club’ to sample all his 40 dark beer and micro-beer specialties.

That reminds me of my two-beer lunches when I worked at Barnes And Noble. I’d come in the same time everyday and the waiters would remove the paper table covering (it was a theme restaurant…the idea was that you could crayon while you waited, I guess. I didn’t like paper tablecloths.)
First name basis with all the waiters and waitresses. They served me a different, obscure brand of beer everyday and apparently kept records.
Then one day I come in with a co-worker and find my name on a plaque, over the bar. I’d ‘won’. Sampled every damn beer on the menu. Wow.

So I don’t join ‘beer clubs’. (Never did. That at Garfield's was an ambush.)

And it looks like I won’t be moving in either. Too bad.

Long day away from my media annex, which Mom has stopped calling the Sewing Room. I did a lot of walking around downtown, looking in the shop windows to check my reflection. Say, I don’t look half as bad as I should. Nice posture, and more color in my face then you’d expect from an alcoholic, pill-addicted recluse.

All the usual characters on the square. Cops walking their bikes on the sidewalk. “Hellooo, Mr. Jackson. I heard you were back in town. How are you? Living with your folks now?”

“Just visiting for a few months. Maybe a year!”

The Christmas decorations are up on the light poles. The same that made me so happy when I was ten but they’re looking a bit shabby, singed by traffic exhaust. Starting at dawn, December 26th, they all come down.

Christmas music already, playing from the megaphone shaped speakers on the bandstand.

I walked to Shrago’s. Rang the bell to set Leon, the German shepherd, into a frenzy. Shrago opened up and as usual Leon barked at my crotch. RAR!RARRARRRAAR!! Lord Jesus, take my hand.
“Leon, it’s me!”
Five minutes later I say hello to Shrago too. As usual, he’s in his captain’s chair before the bank of monitors, and he’s enjoying a wooden bowl of rice and beans. With chopsticks, no less.

I’m here to announce that I’m ready to rent a room.

“What? No inheritance yet?”

We spend about an hour upstairs. One room is being remodeled. I like this. The thing is, I want an Internet connection, and cable of course. But it isn’t wired yet.

“I can have it done by thanksgiving. I suppose that’s when you want to move in?”

Yeah. And just until January, I say. That’s when Mom abandons the house for Mr. Toad’s.

And I won’t be here all the time. I just want a retreat and to give Mom a break. I’ll pay extra for breakfast lunch and dinner by the way.

It’ll be great. I can use the weight room. There will be lots of visitors, so I can leech off Shrago’s popularity. Maybe sleep with one of his cast-off divorces that come and go...
One of the Weekend Pundit writers noticed my Michael Moore post. That's nice, after a lot of guff.

Wish I'd cleaned it up more. I am so lazy with this blog.

Another drunken post. Oh well...

Calculated Risk

Michael Moore sat down to discuss his book, 'Dude, Where's My Country?' with Brian Lamb on C-span tonight.


Yeah, it was great.
I should have been taking notes but then, it wasn't like he was defending a P.H.D.

Man, that's like being called to the Principals office, meeting Brian Lamb. It looked to me like Moore was losing weight the first ten minutes. I about reached out to adjust the color on my set too, because he was so pale. And his throat. Gulp, gulp.
Moore was trying to swallow and relax but he couldn't, at least for the first ten minutes. Then as time went on he relaxed, with a sort of 'never mind that, what about health care?' approach. Lamb is a genius and allowed that that to pass.
I'm sure there will be a great deal of commentary in the blogosphere over the next week. Moore squirmed, he lied, he contradicted himself, he was ridiculous. After a half-hour he became more confident and more entertaining as he realized Brian Lamb wasn't going to ride his ass.

When Moore said that Bush had argued that Saddam was partly responsible for 9-11, and that this argument was proven a lie, Lamb didn't bother to ask 'when did President Bush ever say that?'.

Lamb is thorough. He makes you talk. He lets you hang yourself.
Moore became comfortable after he'd established his working-class Flint credentials, but this was with a lot of regrettable insinuations that 'blue collar' people can't be expected to be overly bright.

Once Brian Lamb had him comfortable, and started quoting passages of his book to him, Moore let out several high pitched giggles for the rest of the night:
That's satire, Brian!

Now there I'm serious, Brian!

Moore said that before his first movie hit, 'Roger and Me', he'd never made a paycheck over 8000 dollars. In the next breath he said he'd averaged 12,000. Or, well, 17,000.
He was living at his folks. He dropped out of his sophomore year in college for some silly reason. Lack of parking space at the 'commuter college' in Flint...
I learned a lot tonight, but nothing to change my mind.

Moore was the first 18 year old to ever be elected to office, back in the early '70s (to a school board? I missed that).

Just a kid with a great love for his country, and an urgent desire to turn it away from Republican Evil. After all, it was Flint, Michigan, so you have to forgive me for being a boob. You don't think I was some sophisticate like the people on the West coast!
I wish Brian had asked 'but weren't you the editor of Mother Jones magazine?'

Average Flint my ass.
What struck me most during the interview was Moore's declaration that Bush found 911 a 'bonanza' for political gain. I can't quote here before the transcript, but it was noteworthy how many of the old talking points are gone now.

It's tough, after you've opposed the overthrow of the Taliban and Saddam. I mean, what to say?

Bush used 9-11 to support Alaskan oil drilling. And jerryfalwelljohnashcroftetc are evil.

No more 'it's for oil' argument. No more colonialism argument. Moore didn't even try to tie the war to our treatment of American Indians, and he didn't mention Custer.

His thesis makes a hullabaloo about our historic connection/ ties with the Saudis, of course, but that fails as a partisan issue. It fails even more since the Bush Doctrine is precisely addressing that issue.
Michael Moore is probably the most hated person on the internet, after Ted Rall.

He had to account for himself. I think that, confronted by the school-master, he revealed himself as a show-man who's dying in some pathetic, Willy Loman/doomed salesman sort of way. If not Huey Long.

What bothers me is that he performs so well, with his book-tours filling stadiums with 10,000 people.
That's what bothers Lamb, too. One of his very few confrontational questions was : what will you do with this power?

Moore blanched, and it was a wonderful moment. He seemed to pause and wonder if he wasn't becoming Jim Jones. Or Lenin or Stalin or Hitler. Then suddenly he was yelling that education polls show that youngsters don't even know where Iraq is! "We should make a law! You can't bomb a place if you can't find it on the map!"

Jesus that's pathetic. But mind you, Michael Moore is from Flint Michigan, so forgive him for being an a hole.
All in all, I think the charges of plagiarism, fakery, and elitism will stick to Michael Moore. The blogs will prevail.

But natch, it ought to worry us that he's filling stadiums.

It's very difficult pulling down a working class hero who's in favor of peace, love, and a free food and drug administration.

Just a question

Everyone from the New York Times to National Review agrees that we f*cked up in Afghanistan during the 1980's.

We abandoned Afghanistan then, according to the conventional wisdom.

My question is, how exactly do people figure that after bank-rolling their liberation, we're somehow all the more responsible to babysit them and see them through to a civil society? Yes, I understand that would have been best, but at the time, how does this moral arithmetic work?

We didn't trick or fool the Afghans into resisting Soviet oppression. Their resistance was natural, and we helped them drive the Soviets out.

Why apologize? The U.S.A. is not imperial. We usually itch to get out of foreign entanglements, not to stay.
I think the loyal opposition here actually regrets that we sent aid to defeat the communists. That naive humanitarianism which buttressed genocidal communism is alive and well. Their argument now is sort of childish, like "ha! look what you got in the Soviet's place." But this loyal opposition is the same that would cry bloody murder if we'd tried to interfere in Afghanistan's politics after that war.

It's probably true that our politicians could never have persuaded the voting populace to keep pouring money into that rubble-strewn, ancient land anyway. It would take 911 to persuade us that Islamo-fascism was uniquely dangerous.

Still, my question: why, after helping the Afghans win their war against the Soviets, should we have felt more obliged to that country?

Yes, the latent effect was marvelous. Eastern Europe and all the countries of the Soviet Union were liberated (to some degree).

That doesn't mean we didn't do the Afghans a great favor.

I don't see that we let them down. On the contrary: by some twisted fundamentalist zealotry didn't they declare war on us?
Moog writes on her blog:

"well, what are we doing to welcome Bush into our lovely anti war country?

i have Saturday morning free, so i could throw something then...like a petrol bomb....

are the CIA letting people near him, or do we have to use remote control missiles?"

I know this is tongue in cheek, but the sentiment isn't. I don't understand how youthful idealism could go so completely astray. What happened to courage in the defense of liberty? How can you lament the leadership that over-threw the Taliban?

What do these modern-day Yippies stand for, anyway? Legalized drugs? Abortion? Free health care?

Those are all 'liberation' issues for spoiled brats. To many of them, liberty means free services. (No, I don't mean to put words in your mouth, J.T., this is a rant in general). Those regimes which used to require women to stay indoors are sacred, though, because they're from a different culture. Fundamentalism is fine in Afghanistan, but in the West even a sermon against partial-birth abortion gets you a life-sentence in Lefty ridicule. Never mind that our Billy Grahams would never dream of challenging our Bill Of Rights.

I know this is a simplistic analysis, but I think I'm dealing with simplistic people. I think this all has a lot to do with rock and roll and hip - hop. I think it's about the need to be popular, and that ignorance and emotionalism wins you a first-down.

A few years ago, I couldn't get enough, reading about the total humiliation of the posers who ignored the evils of Nazism and Stalinism because they were 'anti-war'. Some politicians simply died of shame after Churchill was proved correct. I wanted to read more and more about this aftermath because I have a cruel streak a mile wide and reaches across the Atlantic.

It's no fun watching a re-run, though. I prefer instead to go back and read those polls which show that 60% of college age kids support Bush.
The jingle is "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee".

All these years I've thought it was "Nobody does it like Sara Lee".

Wouldn't that be better?
I deleted a ugly political post yesterday. Probably not soon enough. I should know better than to spew like that.

Still an impulse here, though. Bush's trip to London tomorrow is worrisome. The reports I hear make it sound like the Brits will stage 1968 style riots.

It's natural to be 'anti-war'. The passion is understandable. But so are the passions behind the overthrow of a murderous dictator.

I don't think most Iraqis are very fond of the people who sent human shields in an effort to prevent the war.

I visit some British blogs. Everyone seems in a competition to express their contempt for Bush, and their enthusiasm for the protests.

I know all the arguments from the left. I hear them all on C-span and as they list their points, I'm saying 'wrong on the facts', 'illogical'. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You've struck out. Try again.

The only compelling arguments I've ever heard against the war were of the nervous, fearful variety: that the WMDs would be used, (or smuggled out of the country) and that terrorism would increase. The oil wells would be set ablaze, Israel would be attacked, there would be civil war. Thankfully we were courageous. There is a small insurgency, and of course it isn't directed only at soldiers: they attack the Red Cross and the U.N. aid workers too. But we know Islamic terrorists had a blood lust long before Bush was in office, and before the war. Appeasement doesn't work.

Among the most ridiculous anti-war arguments is the claim that Bush 'changes his story' about why we went to war. As if having several reasons showed some inconsistency. As if Bush didn't marshal them all during the pre-war debate, and his pro-democracy idealism was only set forth last week as a last resort. (In June of 2002 I posted many times about his speech outlining this grand vision).

Last night at the Jefferson/Jackson event in Des Moines, the lies and rhetorical sleights of hand were painfully obvious. I'm convinced the candidates don't believe their own words. I wonder if the cheering DNC audience were also deluding themselves. For instance, this complaint that we haven't caught bin Laden or Saddam. How ludicrous! As if this war is about catching a couple of fugitives. Saddam's regime and the Taliban are no more, but Gerhardt calls our president 'a miserable failure'. Who actually believes that? Anyone?? Really???

My deleted post basically came to this: 'anti-war' protesters are for the most part childish phonies. There may be a few genuine pacifists among them, but pacifists do not crank up the level of hatred in the world like these people do.
I think this goes back to a stylish '60s romanticism, and that a pied-piper-lemming phenomen is at work here.

I'm tempted to counter this with a screed in favor of the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Or to post something mocking John Lennon's 'Imagine'. ...

I like Al Sharpton's old chant now: "No justice, no peace".

I should start calling myself a liberal now. Our current crop of anti-war protesters are certainly not liberal.

They've Split. To Church

I don’t know how they can stay up so late partying, then roll out of bed and make it to early services. Especially Mr. Toad. He usually has three cowlicks standing straight up, before noon. Like me. Maybe Mom just licks/spits in her hand and smoothes them down.

Its strange when complete silence surprises. Three ticks of cognitive dissonance and then a what? What? What? Nothing. Astonishment in the deep woods. No one is here. No lights on, no TV playing anywhere. They’ve been taken up! Again!

Also new to the blog-scroll

This Depleted Life.

It's a disturbing blog-title and full of stick-man 1970's graphics that remind you of psycho-pharmaceutical tracts. Apropos to OATA, I guess.

But I should add that it also seems very friendly and intelligent.

Bi-lingual to boot!

I'll call her Jo.

She's a terrific writer. I believe she is also a paid columnist somewhere, but I'm not sure. You can tell that she should be , anyway.

I've realized how anxious I am to be drawn back from my sorta knee-jerk Republican extremism. Jo can be very forthright with her opinions but she's no ideologue.

Anyway, she'll be a daily read here.

Community Standards

It’s five minutes round-trip to the Milky Way for drinks and cigarettes. Three minutes if there’s no one in line. Rarely, a half-hour if I end up behind some moron who’s surveying the smorgasbord of lottery tickets. (“Um. Give me one with the balloons. One with the cowboy. One of those with the stars…do you know any slow or special people?”)

I mean it’s a very short trip. Last night I timed it to make sure it wasn’t an hour. I want to convince myself that my trips to the store are no big deal.

But still. When I get back in to the house I’m out of breath and I’m giving thankful prayers, like I’ve been through a terrible ordeal.
I guess my nerves are just raw.

‘Nerves’. I watched a 1932 Edward G. Robinson movie the other night. He played a skyscraper riveter having a nervous breakdown. He couldn’t climb those heights anymore, they made his head swim. The doctor made a house call and said something like “Oh I know it’s very real to you, but it’s still psychological. Nerves are tricky, you have to keep a strong grip on yourself or you’re through. Let them take over once and you never forget. Here are some sedatives.”

Everyone goes to the Milky Way. I’ve probably written about this before.

I could be standing in line there with a 12 pack, get a tap on the shoulder and find my grade-skool music teacher there offering a hug (she is a sprite, Mrs. Davis). Or maybe the mayor will walk in and be all mayoral to me, while I just remember him as a squirrelly kid in 7th grade.

I attended AA here for a few years, and chaired a meeting for six months. It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve had complete strangers approach me and ask, “Aren’t you a friend of Bill’s?”

Admittedly, I have a low threshold for trauma.
Some encounters make me feel like I've been shot like a cannon-ball into the future. Sometimes I marvel that I've had a good life, other times I feel like I've landed with a sickening thud.

Friends like Lunkhead can get across to me how I waste time worrying. And in retrospect life always looks good, except that my anticipation of the future always produced needless emo-seizures.

What's on my to-do list now? A long stubborn wait for inspiration.

I wish the yellow pages listed cults and communes.

Actually, I still want to go to the 4th floor with the mental patients. Not detox, with it's rote 12-step training.

I mean with the sweet people who just became a little over-whelmed...

Lit Tradit

Odd. I have a dream where I’m chasing our empty trash barrels down the street, then I wake up with a start and two minutes later I’m chasing our empty trash barrels down the street.
And it’s just as I pictured, except it’s not such a heart thumping, nightmarish emergency in real life. Thank goodness for that. Of course, in my dream I’d forgotten to put on my pants.

Splash some whole milk in the bottom of my cup here and top it off with roast blend . Suffering saints, all this luxury is like a millstone around my neck. God is getting to me again. I need to find Mom and start this day with an apology. Write a check to her before I go back in hiding.

This old house. So bright and light downstairs, so shadowed and ancient upstairs. Odd turns, short hallways, large rooms, high ceilings.

She’s lit the fire and nodded off with a newspaper in her lap, after a late-night/early morning at Mr. Toad’s. Still wearing her leather jacket, and she has her ciggies and an ashtray on the little table there. Dear God, it’d be a nightmare if she was white-haired and wearing a grandmother’s shawl.

The wind comes down the chimney and blows some flame at me. Makes me think of my angry sister. Hoo!

Wander into the dining room and read Mom’s birthday cards. Forgivable eavesdropping, I think. Then, up the stairs here since I’m ready to for some email and Lileks.

Whoosh! Wow. Mom is ironing. I should go back downstairs and see if she’s still sleeping too. This is a fun-house. We should install some wavy mirrors.

“Morning, honey!” she calls from around the door. “Isn’t that wind something?”

“We need to batten down !” I say. I don’t want to peek around the door. I haven’t shaved in two days. “How was your road-trip yesterday?”

“Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I looked up and suddenly we were back in town. Eloise and Evy did most of the talking and the rest of us--- oh, mostly Sandy and I--- just chimed in, now and then. No one was very interested in the shops but we had a nice lunch. You know, one of those lady places that are so popular. Then Ed and I went out for dinner. What did you do?”

“Oh. …” I blow on my coffee and discover it’s cold now. Whack-a-dack, as Pace says. Working on my lounge act. “eh…”

“Tch. Johnny…” I swear, Mom pushes a button and makes the iron’s steam blow to punctuate her sentences. Whoosh. Also I suspect her clothes don’t really need a second ironing. But this is her meditation technique. There’s also the squeak of the ironing board. “You’d be so much happier with a job. I remember you with a job. ”

The house is being pelted with debris. I leave my door open and sit down to the computer dial-up. Rio. Magic. “Did you see the pictures Woody and Toot sent me for my birthday?” she calls. “ So lovely…”

The iron sighs. The sun comes out and bathes us in light, even here upstairs, and then it recedes again. Such a stark moment, we both laugh. The world is spinning, watch out! Night and day, slow down.

“Can you believe it, “ she says. “Thanksgiving and Christmas already. Do you suppose David will come down?”

“Mom. David has never missed Thanksgiving or Christmas but you always suspect he will. Why is that?”

“I don’t know…He seems to find it bothersome.” SHHHH. Ironing.

“Everyone’s like that. And not just in this family.”

“No. I don’t think so.” SHHHHH. “I don’t know of any family like ours, John. Evy’s children come all the way from California, and Chicago, and they stay for the whole week and they’re so happy.”

I can’t resist. I answer through the halls. “She has two sons. They’re both gay, for crying out loud.”

“Well. How about the Rieeses? Mary’s kids come home and have a great time. They stay past New Years!” SHHHHH.

I argue off-handedly as I open my email. “The Rieeses? Come on, be serious. They’re furniture-millionaires. Think of an average family.”

SHHHHH. “The Reillys. The Freemans. The Saxons. Their children come home and they sit for family portraits. I don’t know why I’m arguing with you. I know our family isn’t normal. Look at Ed’s children! They both call him once a week.”

The sky is pale white, the sky is bright blue. This wind-storm is wrapping a tether ball around its pole and I think I can hear the chains rattling on the playground down the street. Maybe the chains of a flag-pole. Mom’s complaint over the last ten years of her widow-hood have been so consistent, but also so fleeting.

An hour later she’s on her way to her bridge club, carrying her grandsons’ crayon greeting cards to show everyone.
Why am I up so late? Well I'm very excited, of course. We're about to have a weather event, almost like a Midwestern hurricane. Our weather service says the wind will start to blow 50 mph this morning at least, and it will last until late afternoon.

I regard weather events as 'cover' for staying home. This will be like a vacation from guilt, for me. But of course I'm ruining it now, telling you.
# posted by John : 4:33 AM
You don't give up on the internet, of course. You just look for better hang outs. I like Gawker.com It's New York, and you know I love New York, since Annie is there.

Quote from the first post : "Youth culture and its fashions are deeply and importantly over."

That would suit me, of course. In fact I've been scouring the internet trying to find some people who've figured that out.

I'm going to be cool before I'm 50 gdmt.
My theory is that Youth Culture got a stake in the heart when VH1 started its nostalgia shows "I Love The '80s" , etc. and we all realized that, while fads are very stupid in retrospect, youthful commentators like Michael Ian Black are insufferable in the here and now.

"Fables of the Reconstruction"

Here is the Drezner article that gives a black eye to the Center For Public Integrity, and debunks all the Halliburton nonsense. It was published 11/3, and referenced by David Brooks in the New York Times yesterday.

I'm getting so slow here. Anyway, it's a bookmark.

Watch as all that DNC/Hardball/Newsweek 'conventional wisdom' melts away. It's beautiful, like Spring.

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