A total collapse of will and motivation today, and I blame myself. Sorry, I blame Tuesday, the weather, the looming threat of church-basement pizza, the knowledge that evening coffee would be consumed from one of those portable metal cups that reduces the flavor of coffee to something passed through an engine block, the absence of basic human interaction aside from gesturing at self in the mirror, coldness of portion of state described as “outside,” overall fatigue from waking up in the middle of the night nine times as the plows dropped their blades and scraped off the snow with an oddly gentle sound that almost seemed like they were whispering intimacies to the pavement, and waiting for a phone call that didn’t arrive. Also, myself.

I have a new project coming up – I think, I hope – but until it gets going there’s a lot of wheel-spinning and thumb-twiddling. All I know is that I had better be doing something different next year at this time, or I’ll go daft. My daily subject matter is starting to drive me crazy, for one thing. My internet problems are back, and it’s like working with a smart person who occasionally turns into a drooling idiot. Right now, for example, it just told me it can’t find a website named google. “The website may no longer exist, or may have moved.” Then earthlink’s page gives some suggested alternatives, the first of which is Google. I know I need to have Earthlink change my DNS servers, but the prospect of calling them up and wading through nine levels of Indian tech support never appeals.

(Update: did just that. Blood is shooting out of my ears. Called the special secret insider line they gave me, fought through a thicket of options, got “Tony” in India, who said he would run some line tests. NO. NO! I had two guys from COVAD here testing the line. The line is fine. Johnny Cash could walk it. The problem is a DNS problem. How so? Gah. So the case notes say nothing? “Let me check.” He comes back, after having actually read the tech notes, and says “it seems to be a DNS issue. No kidding, pal. Back on hold. He returns, thanks me for waiting – the sincerity is lacking, and I wonder if that might be something they’re told to say (just a thought) –and says he’ll be back with information about how to change my DNS server. Great. Then we can do something about the ATM Machine.

He returns. “You’re on XP, right?”

Jeebus CRIMINEY UNCLE JED. No, I’m a Mac.

“We don’t handle that,” he says. Whereupon he transfers me to the Mac department. Keep in mind that the second option I pressed to get into this mess indicated I was on a Mac. I was transferred to the Mac department.

Six minutes later the line was picked up, and the tech said he couldn’t help me, because this was the Windows tech support. Stabby beams shoot from my forebrain and crack the plaster. He sends me to the Mac people; while on hold I am informed that J.D. Powers gave them an award for tech support.

The day had a few highlights: took Natalie to karate, and she’s not only enjoying it, she’s good. Completely focused. She’ll shrug if she gets half a cup of spaghetti sauce on her pants, but if she gets one speck of dirt on her uniform it’s AAAAIIIIIEEE.  She wants to tie it correctly, and consulted a book to make sure she had the knot just right.

The only flaw in the event was the battle royale going on in the foyer; some boys hyped up from practice were making a gawdawful racket until the sensei came out and bade them to be still. Even so they managed to radiate noise just by being there. The possibility of noise was noise enough itself. Some little boys are grenades with the pin pulled and the handle held right.

Afterwards we went next door for a glass of milk. A Caribou coffee was installed in the strip mall at some point in the last month. Or year. Or six. I don’t know. I’ve never even considered the mall as a place I’d want to spend more than six minutes, since it has a strange cheap vibe. I suppose the enormous sign reading DOLLAR STORE doesn’t help, but that’s a recent addition. It probably comes from the tobacco store – I went there once for some cigars, and the owner gave me the hairy eyeball. Grim thin tall guy. Make that the mullet eyeball. 

Anyway. Then choir and church-basement pizza, and talking with a guy who was in an investor in the movie we were in last summer. It’s premiering this week, cast and crew only, and I should have a report here or at buzz.mn. Kevin from “The Office” and some other interesting folk were in the movie, and the score was done by the guy whose first symphony was performed by the Minnesota Youth Symphonies years ago. Get this: they hired an orchestra in Prague to play the score, and he conducted it over the internet. What a world.

This week’s addition to the Minneapolis section continues the run of hotels – my GOD this site is huge. I despair of ever finishing it, and I swear it will take two years total to bring the Minneapolis site up to snuff. Anyway, it’s this place:


The Curtis. It was a gigantic, unlovely downtown hotel with an early-60s motor court addition. The colors were pretty cool, and no doubt a welcome relief from the overall brickyness of downtown:


It’s here. Enjoy the old photos, if you like that sort of thing. See you at buzz.mn – not a big day ahead, but enough to keep it warm until 2.0 happens.

Oh, right:

Oh Mrs. Claus . . . I'm hoh-ohme!