Long Walk to Forever
(18-27 October 2006)

27 October 2006
-More feeling lousy.  Even I am beginning to concede it might be time to go argue with a doctor.
-Sis' funeral was very nicely done, though I must note that I personally don't think strangers should officiate funerals any more than they should weddings.  How did it come to be that we entrust the people who know us least to oversee our great rites & rituals that mark the key events of our time on this planet?
-My second-favorite of the eight playoff teams wound up winning the series, cementing Tony LaRussa's legacy as (in my opinion) the greatest manager of this age.  This Cardinals team wasn't quite terrible, but LaRussa guided them to a second title in his fifth (!) World Series.  You can keep your Bobby Cox & your all-billionaire-lineup Joe Torre.  No one elevates players & teams like LaRussa.  & it was great to see the Cards take it all... though due to a scheduling conflict with TiVo (the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown special that I had been waiting a long time to record), I actually heard the last two innings on the radio rather than seeing them live.  What a great Series.

26 October 2006
-I'm exhausted, worn down, & generally not feeling so hot.  I managed to thumbtack my hand yesterday, putting all my weight on an unseen tack that was spike-up.  Then I compounded the problem later by not discussing it on the Mep Report, where it clearly would've been funny.  So it goes.  Things aren't bad right now, but I'm still feeling overwhelmed in some ways.  Yesterday just overdid things, & the bad dreams last night set me back further.  "But I'm alright, I'm alright, I'm just weary to my bones."
-To my great joy, I was recently made aware of the fact that Halloween is safe for one more year.  When Congress destroyed Halloween last year (by extending Daylight Saving Time into November & making the darkest of nights stay lighter later), I thought it would take effect this year.  Not so.  We mercifully will have one more good Halloween this year, only to lose it next year.  Given my excitement about Halloween this year, though, this makes me very happy.

25 October 2006
-"Sis" Simoni (1918-2006).  Em's great aunt passed away place over the weekend.  We were actually slated to have lunch with her on Sunday, just hours after she passed.  She had a good, full life, but death is always very sad.  It's been a rough time lately.
-Russ' theory was that the M's were just renting out Jamie Moyer for the Phils' playoff run.  Given that Pat Gillick was involved, I knew better.  Today, my hunch was proven right.  It makes me sad that Jamie won't end his career in Seattle after all he's done for the team & the city, but I can't believe anyone thinks he's worth $10.5 million for the years he will be 44 & 45.  After all, in the MVP 2005 season I just finished, he retired (right after winning the 2005 Cy Young) due to "age".  Given that he's throwing for an NL team I don't dislike, I'll be pulling for him all the way.

24 October 2006
-Migraine:  11 hours, left side, severe, caused by fluorescent lights.
-Maybe I need to get my head examined.  Literally.
-Someone (whose IP address makes me think I know them) sent me some feedback mixing the classic "USA: love it or leave it" with exhortations for me to post solutions, not just complaints.  The accusation was that I never do the latter, & should probably leave anyway.  I probably would leave were it not for the fact that most everyone I like in the world lives here, & the US doesn't look too kindly on people returning to visit after they've renounced their citizenship.  Also, if I am ever going to do something to influence positive change, the most powerful country in the world is an efficient place to be.  All that aside, I think I do post solutions often, but the problem is that change needs to be so sweeping here that my solutions probably seem even more absurd to the average reader than my critiques.  But here goes:  (1) abolish the military, break down all the weapons, bring everyone home, (2) abolish capitalism and free enterprise, shifting employment & social structures from competition to cooperation, including a right to a job & a minimum standard of living that includes food, clothing, & shelter, (3) open the borders completely & encourage a free flow of people, ideas, & cultures between this country & the rest of the world, (4) spend vast resources & energies in creating a culture of opposition to & resistance of self-induced chemical illusions (alcohol, tobacco, harder drugs), since bans don't quite seem to work, but the obsession people have with them create constant cycles of abuse, violence, self-hate, & disinterest in the world.  That's a start.  My belief that these steps are the only thing that can save the country makes me awfully disinterested in middle-ground "baby steps", as you might imagine.  I do have solutions, but I admit it takes a bit to figure out all the steps to get there.  Working on it.
-I am becoming convinced that the selfishness espoused in general by psychiatry/psychology must be somehow rooted in a deep belief that humans are not really intended to mate for life & that the only healthy approach to things is to accept this, quietly, & still convince yourself that life is meaningful & beautiful.  Which I guess is already where a lot of people are, but it's sort of horrifying to me.  The psych's are so drained of values (other than functionality, which cannot be an end unto itself) that they refuse to recognize when people can be helpful or valuable to each other, & receive something in return.  The myth of individual independence & emotional self-sufficiency runs deep, but can't be based in anything other than the fear of falling over.  When did "health" start to equate never fearing falling over, or even never falling over at all?  This may be the only thing I know to be crazy.

23 October 2006
-Sometimes it's good to be wrong.
-The Jimbob thing at JambaJuice has gotten completely out of control.  The problem is that I have never before been in the habit of frequenting places where I'm asked to give my name, so my mini-obsession with the Juice has led to quite a squeeze.  Today, three Jamba employees came up to me & yelled "Jimbob!" as I arrived to order my smoothie.  The person who was actually taking my order (a 4th person) admitted to almost forgetting me for a second (I think I've only seen her once) & was promptly berated by two of her co-workers, one of them using the line "How can you forget Jimbob?"  So much for blending in with the alternative name choice.  I know, I know, I could've chosen Matt or David.  But bumping into 4 other people on the way to the counter when your "name" is called gets old, so I needed something a little distinctive.  A little... too... distinctive.
-If anyone wants to know why I hate America, watching the GM "This is Our Country" commercial with John Mellencamp will get you off to a great start on understanding.  Not only is it brash & arrogant, but it conflates concepts like Martin Luther King & the Vietnam War.  Talk about spitting on MLK's memory.  I was idly composing a speech in my head today about how the US has never been free, never been open, never been equal, & yet always believed it was.  We don't need to make this country great again, we need to make it great for once.  For once, & for all.  Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to Ford's rival commercial about how debt is what makes this country great.  If only you could get the Cougar to sing about drowning in debt with Henry Ford's legacy.  Throw Henry Ford, Einstein, FDR, the Rosenbergs, Tim McVeigh, Homer Simpson, & Ted Bundy up on the screen.  Hell, they're all Americans - they must all stand for the same thing!  The chorus could be something like "It's all borrowed money anyway, went to the lot and drove that Ford today!"  Hooray.

22 October 2006
-Migraine:  61 hours, right side, moderate, cause unknown.
-It's almost like I don't remember what life without a headache is like.  What a wasted weekend.

21 October 2006
-The migraine seems to be plowing along, though now it's maybe a tropical storm instead of a hurricane.  Around hour 30, though, it's really old.
-And then worse again.

20 October 2006
-Had a migraine at work all day & it's remarkably still not gone.  It's been awhile since I've had a real long-termer get nestled in my head, but this seems like the exact intensity of one that's going to hole up for a good long while.  It's not terrible by any stretch, but it made me contemplate going home early for about half the day.  There was always one thing & another & another to do, though, so I rode it out.

19 October 2006
-I love my friends.  I wish people weren't quite so scattered.  Good thing for phones though.
-There's a lot I want to say about news stories of late, but I feel a little skittish about putting it out in print in the environment & context of how things have been going lately around this nation.  Suffice it to say that (A) Bush is coming across as entirely unconcerned about the fact that his administration's reputation is collapsing just a couple weeks before the election (& even accepts Iraq/Vietnam parallels with his Tet Offensive comment today), (B) there is no discernible reason that anyone would elevate the NFL bombing hoax story from throwaway post on a crude internet forum to top story in the country, especially when NO ONE ever took it seriously, & (C) an event of some sort may be the only way to save the Republicans in 2006.  I'm going to leave it there, but I have more thoughts if you want to talk about them directly.

18 October 2006
-The Bob Dylan show was quite something, & among the most special of my 7 times seeing him (I need to update my setlists page, which is a year or so out of date).  Gris & I were closer than I've ever been to the man & lined up directly in front of him, which was a bit off the center of the stage.  The highlights were "Boots of Spanish Leather" & "John Brown"... both highly unexpected, amazing songs, perfectly delivered.  Also enjoyed "Workingman's Blues #2" (my favorite off the new disc), "She Belongs to Me", &, as almost always, the closing "Watchtower".  I'm also beginning to get sick (not really sick, but relatively speaking) of "Highway 61 Revisited", which is a solid song, but I think I get it almost every show.  Which would be more fine if I weren't 0-7 on "Stuck Inside of Memphis".  Then again, "Boots" alone was enough to make this show for me, so I am far from any sort of complaint.
-Wound up having a really slow work day, for the first time in a couple weeks.  It was nice, especially given how crazy Wednesdays tend to be.
-I am proud of Em's bravery & courage, but there's a long haul to go yet.  More on this later.

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