February 18th, 2005

abstract butterfly

saving oprah

Today I arose early and checked out of the Renaissance hotel by the Los Angeles airport. I got into my rental car to drive downtown. Because the rain continues to fall in Southern California, I took back streets. I somehow went a bit far east of where I intended to be, but when I got to Compton I knew to rectify the situation.

I went to the Kinko's off Figueroa (in my mind: Fig) and Wilshire. Although I now carry a laptop with me on every trip (I even upgraded the AOL on my laptop to the dizzying 7.0 software), I like to use the desktop computers I rent at Kinko's. I am a habitue of the downtown Kinko's at dawn. Dawn is not typically a busy time there. Today, though, the computers room was full of enterprising users.

I found a free rental computer, between two other men. The man on my left, an articulate, well dressed thirtysomething guy, was speaking on the cell phone while he used the computer. I must sheepishly admit that I did immorally notice the part when he was explaining to a Chicago police detective that he had proof that Mayor Daley's heart attack was actually the workings of poison. His proof, apparently, was that he had witnessed the perpetrator poison a tree in the Los Angeles Public Library courtyard. He was a civic minded individual. He wanted to not only help the police solve this infamous crime, but also to prevent further catastrophe. He intimated that he wished to bring the poison scheme to light, so that the police could save Oprah Winfrey from an inevitable and equally dastardly fate.

I read "Pickwick Papers" on the flight home. I had read bits and pieces of this novel in past years, but it's clear to me now that this is my first complete run-through. It's much better than I remembered it being, although I seem to be on the 200 page a month plan, a bit slow-ish for me. I love Dickens' work, and never mind that he is no longer fashionable in some circles.

I got my musical notation software in the mail. This will facilitate the creation of MIDI files without the tape hiss and other drawbacks that have hampered prior recording functions. I will spend this weekend learning the rudiments of the software (between work projects and perhaps a fun movie). The software has more functions on it than I ever learn. But if I learn to make really slow-playing MIDI tracks, I will be content.

My father and sister called me as soon as I landed in Dallas. My father found my high school ring. I apparently used a "B" for my nickname instead of an "R" as my first initial, which makes me sheepish. I was 17 then, though. My wife and I talked about the stress of her taking the dog to the vet for euthanization. Kind neighbors lightened her load by driving her there. People have been so kind this week, here, there and yon, and I am grateful.

I plan to plan some vacation time in the near future.