Must. Stop. Reading. The Internet.

I tell you, some days it’s as much of an impediment to clear thought as television news.

I’m in the gazebo; that’s good. I’m in a medium-weight coat, though. At least I’m not typing with mittens. It was nice enough today, but there’s something about a green world, bright sunlight, and chilly air that makes you feel as though someone’s not doing their part. It warmed up eventually, but the evening soccer match surely felt like fall – the muffled mutter of the announcer at the adjacent high school football field, the weightless dusk, the sight of parents hunched and bundled. (A few brought wine. Really: chairs and wine. They sat on the sidelines drinking red wine. It’s like showing up with a scotch on the rocks, if you ask me, but I know, I know, it’s different. It’s wine! You get a pass with wine, until you slur and stagger. Nip from a flask, though, and you have A Problem.) (Note: I do not nip from flasks. I have a flask, because everyone man should have a flask, a Zippo and cufflinks, regardless of whether he ever uses them.) Gnat blocked one shot, and was happy. They were up against the Raptors, a team unlike the others in the league, in that it has no weather-related name. Most of the other teams have names like Thunder, the Tornadoes, the Late Season Tropical Depression, etc.

Yes, they keep score.

They’re at the store now, shopping. My wife is hosting Bunco at the house Thursday, which means I’m on Chuck E. Fargin’ duty and then some. Probably hit Target to get “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses,” which is the little-girl event of the season; another indistinguishable CGI tale with innumerable plastic tie-ins (literally: you need a needle-nosed pliers to pry Barbie from her package) and the usual plot. I hope it’s better than last year’s Magic of Pegasus, which was really the Phantom Menace of the Barbie movie genre. Not to give anything away, but it turned out that the talking Pegasus was actually Barbie’s sister, which was rather creepy. I suppose they figured it was a little girl’s dream – a flying horse who’s also your bestest sister ever – but if you thought things through, flying horses would necessarily drop huge pies from great heights. Once your sister had retaken human form (and started borrowing your stuff without asking) she couldn’t use the bathroom without making you wonder whether she’d taken out a cottage or two with a few high-velocity sky apples.

Then we’ll go to the Mall and waste some time; anything to let Mommy have a nice adult evening at home with the rest of the Bunco detail.

So if there’s nothing much Friday morning, that’s why.

Hell, there’s nothing much today, either. I’m all written out. Last night’s blurt made for a late evening (thanks for all the email – I’m still sorting it out; thanks to the magic of the self-selecting echo chamber I have so carefully erected over time, most of the mail is positive, although a few angry letters accused me of the usual sins, from chickenhawkery [it stings! O how it stings] to my repeated and damn near fatal inability to apprehend the evaporation of the rule of law. Fine. One of us is wrong and one of us is right. I’d say we can just let history judge, but it depends who’ll write the history, no? Personally, I think Iran would be building nukes if we were in the fourth term of a Clinton presidency and Israel had retreated to pre-67 borders, but again: what do I know, and I appreciate the reasoned & civil disagreements I’ve gotten today. Hey, this is a parenthetical insert. Damn) and I’d really like to relax tonight. Wrote a Quirk with no great enthusiasm today – felt like forcing frozen meat through the grinder – and that told me I had exhausted the usual sources, drained the tank, eaten the seed corn, et cetera. So. Let me go back inside, warm up, and see if I have anything else to offer.

Yes! A happy note: the TV just showed the Cocoa Puffs commercial I’ve been looking for. I always had a soft spot for that hyperactive sugar-junkie, even though the cereal rarely made its appearance in our house. (Sugar Frosted Flakes were fine, but Cocoa Puffs was just too obviously bad.) We all know his problem; the presence, indeed the mere contemplation of the existence of Cocoa Puffs sends him bouncing off the walls.  As cereal mascots go, he’s rather one-dimensional; he lacks the rat-pack cool of the Sugar Bear, the bumbling distracted peter-principled incompetence of Captain Crunch (whose personality was retooled for the whole “Crunchetize Me” campaign, alas) or the mischievous nature of Lucky. (“Those kids are after me Looky Cherms! I’ll build an Aegis gun capable of firing 1000 rounds per second and turn them into gust of jam!”) For the Trix rabbit I eventually felt nothing but contempt. (With contempt left over from the cruel children who kept him from his Grail: smug little bastards. Look, you little monsters: the fact that Trix are for kids does not exclude the possibility that other species may have them as well. There’s no Nuremburg Cereal Laws.) No, the Cocoa Puff bird was simple, but always on message, and the pleasure came from watching him become unhinged in 20 seconds.

The new commercial was done by a blogger.

Well, a talented animator who also has a blog, if you want to get picky. He’s Ward Jenkins, familiar no doubt to many of you for his Ward-O-Matic blog, where his artistic skill & love of mid-century aesthetics are wittily arrayed. This frame of the spot says it all – the elevator indicator and the legs of the table, for example. I also caught a glimpse of the famous Astro Clock in the right side of a few frames.

So what? You say. Well, it’s just cool that all these media intersect – you can read a guy’s blog, see his kid’s drawings, then see the commercial he animated on TV while your own kid’s having her cerebral cortex drained by “Fairly Oddparents.” (We’d already done homework and piano, so she had earned some stooped time.)

As have I. See you tomorrow.

UPDATE: Her team won! The Raptors only had one point. Which was kicked in, by accident, by my daughter, but that doesn't matter. Her team RULES!

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c. 2005 j. lileks. Email, if you wish, may be sent to "first name at last name dot com."