November 13th, 2005

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not gone where the goblins go

"Save us from weak resignation,
To the evils we deplore"--harry emerson fosdick

Last night we went to the new version of "Pride and Prejudice", which proved a very pleasant surprise indeed. I would not have believed that Keira Knightley could handle Elizabeth Bennett properly, nor that Colin Firth's Darcy would be easy to replace, but the leading characters were grand, and the aesthetic choices on places to deviate from holy austenite text were interesting.

We then went to Naan, the Korean place next to the Angelika Theater, for a round of sushi. The waitress, Megan, turned out to be one of those young women with lots of vim and personality, the kind of forthright soul with whom one can make extended eye contact. My wife asked her if she was in college, and we thereby learned that she is finishing her degree in sales and marketing while working doing promotion for the local "classic hits" radio station. We ordered a tray full of sushi, whose consumption reminded me of how much I enjoy smoked salmon sushi.

Today in church we sang a very hip Ghana version of "kyrie eleison", as well as hymns known to and loved by me.
The sermon, by a new associate minister, centered on how some bedrock things stay the same, but how religion must change in its inessentials and approach if it is to retain an appeal. I think that arising early for an 8:15 service appeals to me.

When I walked young Ted, who turns 11 this month, by Glenover Pond, we had a perambulator incident. A kind neighbor, in gym attire with a Marine haircut, was pushing a cute pram filled with (a) one happy daughter and (b) one happy white terrier. Ted and I had taken a brief adjournment off the sidewalk so that we might converse about a matter of importance to Ted in relative privacy. The man sped up, seeing the potential for an international incident. Sadly, though, as he flew the perambulator by us, the white terrier hopped off, chin-first. The terrier did not mind the resulting smash/thump/bop fracas of connecting with the ground. His owner, though, headed him rapdily back pram-ward for the outbound journey. Ted watched, wishing they would come and play.

A few moments later, a rat terrier diverted briefly from a "fetch" session to say hi to Ted, who, in turn, hopped around like a bunny, but, upon a caution from its master, realized that neither snow nor rain nor the sight of a small brown Tibetan canine should stop the fetch deliverer from his accustomed route. During my walk with Ted, I thought about writing a kind of ode to my late dog Scout in a variant of the old LiveJournal meme, titling the post "Ten Things My Small White Dead Lhasa Did Which You may not Have Done", but as the Days of the Dead are over, I decided not to shoot that particular dog into print.

At 6 p.m., my sister and my niece rolled into town, bringing a large leather sofa my father no longer uses. We all ate a taco soup for which we got the recipe at Weight Watchers, and then my brother arrived and all three siblings worked remarkably well together in getting the sofa upstairs. My brother departed to return to his multiple-player-mass-chaos-he-already-has-a-top-rating-and-is-down-to-medallions-tools-and-toys on-line gaming experience. My sister and my wife departed to Target, while my niece, age 9, and I, pulled out all my cheap instruments and played "Kum Ba Yah" on the autoharp, random notes on a xylophone in a hollowed out branch, and
"The Lady of Spain" pre-set on my 10 dollar eBay-purchased electric keyboard. We watched the "Wizard of Oz", and I realized that its lyricist, along with the founder of the first "no kill" animal shelters, would be the answer to my poll question about great unsung Americans deserving of an essay.

A good weekend, but a short one. Another weekend is but a week away.
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    Weight Lost: (last 3 weeks): .8 pounds
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Ten theories

1. The ideal song should be 2 minutes and 44 seconds in length, which is the approximate length of the Ramones song "I Wanna Be Sedated". This failure to meet the ideal may explain why John Cage songs featuring silence never topped the charts, as well as providing a stark argument for truncation of the Jethro Tull song "Thick as a Brick".

2. Power may corrupt. Absolute power may corrupt absolutely. Yet power also ages. Based on this syllogism, Grecian Formula is an totem of power. It may not corrupt, but it is part of a cover-up.

3. What pork barrel project is being funded in your area that the "powers that be" deem more important than
children's school lunches? Here it's a project to build a park and a highway simultaneously in roughly the same area on our local Trinity River. In Alaska, it's apparently a ~100 million dollar bridge to service an island of 50 residents. Even apart from our current need to support our troops, strips of salt pork, smoked for days in Congress, have managed to build a new deficit from the ashes of surplus. Meanswhile, as the number of veterans needing benefits increases, efforts to slow their utilization proceed apace. Favorite absurd boast of the day: "make the tax cuts permanent". I never realized that the taste of pork was so intoxicating. My theory is that pork barrel spending is the new white meat.

4. Remind me, by the way, that if I use an e mail during the emergency crisis that is the defining moment of my career thus far, to refrain from discussing what clothes to wear on television. My theory is that this is
not an ideal way to create one's legacy.

5. I bought a magazine about going "off the grid" into alternative energy, not because I want to do this soon, but my theory is that we will all do version of this eventually.

6. Life is an endless deck of Monopoly cards, and there's nothing more fun than drawing "bank error in your favor".

7. I believe in the future most people will get their post-secondary education without bricks or mortar.

8. This year's huge labor shortage? Automobile mechanics schooled in the new high tech engines. That would be a fun career, except that I already have a career and my mechanical skills stop at cleaning the aquarium sponge that functions as a filter on my hand power mower.

9. My theory is that the small liberal arts school is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

10. I have seen the M42 nebula through a cheap telescope, and thus I can confirm that the universe is one large and intriguing place. My theory is that people are just as intriguing, and almost as fuzzy when viewed with the naked eye.