I think the worst part about being a bus driver might be this: the drive home after work. I mean, you’ve been driving all day. Now you’re free – to drive. And you’re behind a bus.

Oh, that was fun: had a conversation with the satellite repair guy about directions to Jasperwood. We came with some rather elaborate strategies for getting here – but alas, they came to naught when I realized that he was actually 22 miles southwest of where I thought he was. Ha ha! Tears of laughter, gales of amusement.

Or as he probably put it when he hung up: ()#$*(P$*%$#

It’s the afternoon; I’m writing at the kitchen table where I do much of my work nowadays. Gnat has a playdate, which leaves me free to write column #2 for today. What tonight’s column will be I’ve no idea. I know: waiting for repair men! Comedy gold! They tell you’ll they’ll be there between one and five – what's up with THAT? You couldn’t be any more vague, dude? Howzabout “between dawn and dusk”? That’d be more like it! Am I right? Thank you!

Add sixtyeight F-bombs, and I could do cable with that material.

The sky, the trees, the flowers all say vokda . . . the wind, she mutters “bourbon.” Still not clear-likker season yet. I bought a bottle of Level, the new premium vodka from Absolut. No – wait – Absolut is premium, right? At least compared to your basic paint-stripping brands like Karkov. (Incidentally, I have the perfect name for those pretentiously-named liquor & juice combos: Cirotique.) So Level must be super-uber-premium. It’s the vodka of Trumps! Again, I remember a New Yorker article I read years ago about Smirnoff’s attempt to market a superpremium wudka, as Ensign Chekov might call it. Their main issue concerned the definition of vodka itself, which was “without taste.” And that’s true, in the sense that the definition of “breeze” doesn’t say anything about the faint hint of new flowers that breeze might carry. But vodka isn’t like scotch; it’s about texture more than taste. The difference between velvet and burlap.

Not that I’ll know tonight. Ah well.

Whoa: just heard the new Kerry ad. He was born in an Army Hospital? Then he’s my choice! You know, coming from the right such an assertion – literally born into the military - would terrify some, as though the Dark Night of Fascism was truly descending.

I have spent my entire day here, but at least I have a view. The backyard is blooming nicely – the picture to the right was taken Saturday. And there are the flowers from Orchestra Hall. I had intended to do a vidblog about the gig, and indeed I shot some stuff, but the sound is irredeemably horrible. So nevermind. But there was an amusing moment at the end. All the conductors take the stage after the final piece (Rachmaninoff’s 2nd, third & 4th movement) and bask in the audience’s applause. When Orchestra Hall is packed – which it was – that’s quite a sound. I am lucky enough to bring up the rear of the line of conductors and take a bow. Well. Staffers on the floor below the stage went down the line passing out bouquets to each of the conductors; one of the bestowers of these lovely garlands held one up to me, and I took the plastic sheet in my hands, and she pulled it away. There’s only one thing you do in a situation like that, and that’s milk that baby. Milk it! A small comic tableau ensued which was amusing at the time, but boring to recount; just imagine what you would do if you’d been snubbed and rejected so vividly in front of three thousand people.

Well, the install man came and went, because the roof’s too high. He lacked sufficient ladderage. You’d think they would have asked me how tall the house was before sending out someone, but no. So now they’re coming on Friday. Which is also the day the sprinklermen come. Oh, I like that; very Stephen Kingish. Mommy, Daddy, save me from the sprinklermen! I does have an ominous sound. So now I have a free hour without Gnat; I’m off to sit at the sidewalk café and sip espresso and read “The French Betrayal of America.” With the cover displayed! Yes I am that brave.

Later –

Much huggermugger in the blogworld over the latest Rall cartoon; lots of speculation about whether he’ll be dropped from the syndicate, lose readership, meet up with an angry Tillman relative. But sometimes just being yourself is punishment enough. I have no idea if Mr. Rall is personally happy, although the one time I met him he didn’t strike me as a jolly old soul. But it has to be hard to be happy when one carries around so much bile and rage. It’s tiring. Anger wears you down, especially when your anger doesn’t seem to accomplish anything. Ted Rall’s cartoons could have run in every paper every day since 9/11 and there will still be kids who saw Tillman’s choice as a remarkable act. (Tillman’s Choice: there’s a phrase that sums up quite a lot, doesn’t it?) People like Rall are sitting on the curb, feet in the gutter, watching the parade go past, smirking at the guy with the baton, sneering at the cheerleaders. Everyone else watching the parade thinks I wonder if there will be elephants! And when they do appear, he rolls his eyes. Elephants. How obvious.

You want to live like that? I don’t want to live like that. Because when you see red all the time you miss things. My favorite panel of the cartoon had Tillman signing up and asking “Do I get to go kill Arabs.” Of course Rall knows that it’s not literally true, but it’s true in some metaphysical sense, which makes it truer than reality itself. And it’s a bitter joke, don’t you know, because that’s the unspoken subtext, isn’t it?

The notion that there are men literally signing up with the literal desire to literally kill Americans – not even on his radar, apparently.
Ah well. Every era has its Bill Mauldin. Every era has its Nast. And every era has its Rall. We just don’t remember them like we remember the Mauldins and Nasts. You know, the guys who were right. And could draw.

Again: hate takes too much work. Today I was trying to sign on to a newspaper that required registration; it wouldn’t take my password. Odd. I have a format for passwords that allows me to use different ones everywhere but instantly remember what they are, based on – well, never mind. So I clicked the “send me my password” button and checked my mail for the response. Turns out I hadn’t signed up under that email account – but someone else had. Said the newspaper website robot:

Username: Hate Your Guts
Password: Hate Your Guts

Wow. So someone planted a registration bomb lord knows when, and got all hot & fancy imagining the look on my face when I discovered what he’d done.

How pathetic is that?

Okay! Day’s done. Now, the first Wednesday vidblog. It’s short and sweet. Let’s dance.

(the date is wrong on the video, because I am BLINDED BY HATE! Or love.)

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