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October 25th, 2003

landed at one, driving until after 3

The plane touched down in Oklahoma City at 1 in the morning. I picked up my rental car, and began to drive south. One of those stations that called itself "alternative" but I'd call "alt/metal" pounded from the stereo speakers. After the obligatory turns in the wrong directions on the wrong freeway, I was solidly on the I 35 heading home. I turned off at the Turner Falls exit (by passing the dead raccoon), figuring this tourist area (a waterfall, a botanic garden, Arbuckle Mountains) would have nice lodging, but headed back on the road when everything was cabin rentals as to which I hated to wake up the owners. A white large bird I believe to have been an owl flew overhead. I by-passed Ardmore when I realized I was so close to home I could almost finish the drive, but by Gainesville, Texas, I realized that the last eighty minutes or so would have to be undertaken after some sleep. I stopped at Best Western, slept four or five hours. When I awoke, Animal Planet was playing the Westminster Dog Show. A terrier won the Best in Show. Then I grabbed muffins and grape juice at the "continental breakfast", and drove the short way back home.

Today I think of the word "obvious" as my single most applicable adjective, both in relation to my self and my writing.

fall back, fall arrives

A blustery wind blew in clouds as the temperature dropped today. Tonight we change our clocks. The news reports that in southern California, the Santa Ana desert winds once again have portions of the inland elfin forest in flames. When we lived there, I liked the way that Santa Ana winds could create hot days in January, but disliked the way they were so dry and parching. The drive-up stands are selling pumpkins, and the leaves are beginning to change here. We don't get glorious, New England style Autumns, because we have fewer trees and each maintains its own schedule as to the change. So it's kinda like "this tree is yellow, but these are still green". Each tree marches to its own drummer, no matter how measured or far away. It was fun to drive down a tree lined street in Highland Park, watching new wind scatter leaves madly. It was Fall's first real arrival.

I've been tired today, and filled with a little bit of that transitory sadness that fatigue can bring on. I did get a pick-me-up today in an unlikely quarter when we watched the video of "Blue Crush", the surfer movie. I like movies about people who pick themselves up and try, even if the plot is predictable. Besides, footage of surfers on waves always delights, even though I am not at all a surfer or surfing fan. I was also not immune to the lead actress, though I suppose she is some slight fraction of my age, rendering the mild attraction a curious thing.

We also had a nice lunch at the Persian cafe down the street from us--both the owner and our favorite waitperson are such nice people. I think it's very hard to run a non-chain restaurant right now in north Texas. Our waitperson described a picnic she hoped to have this evening with her Significant Other. I hope the weather did not trump love.

On the radio in the wee hours this morning, a radioevangelist was holding forth on the Episcopal Church's current crisis. She expressed to her audience that she saw the situation as a "wake up call" for a literal reading of the injunctions in the Bible. "Sola scriptorum", she said, "sola scripturum", and then went on to explain that either one must accept every word in the Bible as literally true, or ignore the whole thing. Later, I heard the members of the now-reformed Bangles describe how much easier it was to record an album as fortysomething women with kids and lives outside music than as twentysomething women with no kids and not much going on other than their music. The Atlantic Monthly I read last night, meanwhile, had articles on how parental pressure has made college admissions extremely competitive. The statistic that struck me most was that of the kids with perfect 800 SATs across the board who applied to Harvard, Harvard only admitted half. All these facts and arguments, coupled with some heavy metal songs, swirled in my mind all morning. I think that life was easier in my college years, when we did not have much idea that we were to be very ambitious, and we were gently reassured that too much ambition was not all that good a thing in any event.
A degree, and ultimately a job--those were the goals. It was a simpler time, but it was only yeterday, and it seemed so complicated then.

When I am tired, I am more opinionated. I wonder if this is a vice or a virtue. I have decided to let that point to ponder rest, until I am rested.