Thursday, November 30, 2006

with love

There were times I thought he was bein'
Just a little bit hard on me
But now I understand he was makin' me
Become the man he knew that I could be
And everything he ever did
He always did with love

And when I feel alone
And I think I can't go on
I hear him sayin' "Son you'll be alright
Everything's gonna be alright"
Yes it is
--keith urban

my son and i are butting heads. again.

actually, "crashing skulls" may be a better descriptor. and it occurs to me that when he's older, he won't remember me saying, "son, you'll be alright. everything's gonna be alright."

instead it'll be, "what on earth were you thinking?!" and "you don't have a brain in your head."

i'm off message. time for a course change.


Friday, November 24, 2006

i couldn't eat another bite

whew, that was some thanksgiving, huh? turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, rolls, asparagus, pumpkin pie.

and wine, some good wine, too.

at least, that's what i hear.

me? i didn't eat a thing. in fact, i offloaded some calories. for the first time in my life, i was sick on thanksgiving.

a virus? some sort of food-borne illness? i don't know. come to think of it, i did have sushi the night before. and at breakfast, some turkey bacon that may have been slightly undercooked. what i do know is, a whole lotta people around here ate like royalty whilst i hung out by the throne.

i'm feeling better today. thank goodness for leftovers.

and healthy children.
and a financially solvent household.
and a new direction in the land.
and friends who get it.

thank goodness for all those things. and more.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

once more, with feeling

if you had the chance, what would you do over?

i'm not talking about wistful regrets or a rhetorical "gee whiz..."

knowing what you know now, knowing what you did and what happened because of it...what would you change?
If his experiment with splitting photons actually works, says University of Washington physicist John Cramer, the next step will be to test for quantum "retrocausality."

That's science talk for saying he hopes to find evidence of a photon going backward in time.

Roughly put, Cramer is talking about the subatomic equivalent of arriving at the train station before you've left home, of winning the lottery before you've bought the ticket, of graduating from high school before you've been born.
c'mon, you know you've done it at some point in your life. made a wrong turn into the path of a bad relationship. drank out of the wrong bottle. slept with the wrong person.

okay, they're all the right person, but sometimes at the wrong time.

anyway, here's this guy who says he can make photons defy conventional wisdom on the linearity of time. next thing you know people will be walking around with i-time pods, going back and doing things over willy nilly. what a fabulous free-for-all that would be.

your boss didn't like you being late for work? go back and do that morning quickie a little quicker. you think the leader of the free world is a low-IQ loser? go back and slip some rat poison into his frat party cocaine. you have a problem with the ethics of murder? go back and re-write some religious dogma.

and it's all good, because if people don't like what you've done, they can go back and re-do it. the world will be a continually changing, time-warping, flux capacitating party.

and if you don't like everyone traveling back and forth, messing up the decor in your waterfront go back and take out the photon-splitting scientist.

win win.

i've gotten carried away again, haven't i. no problem.

control+z. undo typing.

hey, check this out. some guy at the university of washington thinks he can make photons travel back in time. what an interesting concept.

you know, if you had the chance...what would you do over?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

a fork in the road

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...
—talking heads

i'm in the midst of a strange existentialist quandary.

this is odd, because i'm not really conversant in existentialism.

but i am conscious of it. i think i'm in a quandary, therefore i am.

i seem to be heading down an alternative path. usually, in science fictiony stories, the characters are unaware that their path has diverged. but i'm feeling it.

i look out the window at my car, and it seems like someone else's car. i commute to work each day, and it seems like someone else's job. i'm oddly disconnected from events that should make me happy or proud. it's as if they're happening to someone else.

as if i'm having an out-of-body experience while still living in the moment. but it's not quite the right moment.

this unbalance has me off balance. and, though i've described the symptoms badly, my diagnosis is a divergence in space and time. i'm off the track i'm supposed to be on.

having established a diagnosis, what's the prognosis? what do people generally do in these situations? is it possible to get back on track, and is it advisable to do so? or is it better to press ahead and hope for the best? i wouldn't want to end up like this guy, for example...
Descartes is sitting in a bar, having a drink. The bartender asks him if he would like another. "I think not," he says, and vanishes.
equally important: is everyone else off their appointed tracks because i've strayed off mine? am i dragging others along on this digression? the ramifications of that are too profound to contemplate.

since i seem to have no choice, i guess i'll stay on this track for awhile. i enjoy driving the car, and the job is not bad. and my wife...she got her navel pierced. that's kinda hot, actually. no complaints there.

but i'm wary of this new path. it feels tenuous and maybe dangerous. uncertain. once, i knew how much i didn't know, and that we have only the illusion of control. now i have no idea how much i don't know (just that it's a lot) and even the illusion of control is gone.

it's like i'm driving with my eyes closed, the cruise control stuck, and the steering wheel has come off in my hands.

hope the road goes wherever i'm headed...

addendum: i went out to the garage this evening, and there was a raccoon, washing his hands in the cats' water dish, next to the cat food. i had interrupted his meal preparation. he decided to leave, but didn't know which way to go, as i stood between him and the door. he started one way, stopped, started toward me, stopped. i stepped away from the door, and he hurried out.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

aura of vincibility

There's a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
And these mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe
--anna nalick

this morning i woke up with a remarkable migraine. it was exquisite in its sharp, searing relentlessness. if it were comparable to the discomfort inflicted by the cia, this headache would have been condemned by the red cross.

was it barometric? chiropractic? sinuses? too much red wine? probably all of the above, and then some. at turns i was sweating, nauseated, cringing at loud noises that weren't really all that loud. at one point i was convinced that i must've been having a stroke.

i actually started thinking about the things i would miss out on, would never do, owing to my impending demise. i staggered to the bathroom and washed down some ibuprofin, not really believing i'd keep them down. then i fell asleep.

when i woke up later, i was still alive. i could still move my extremities. the headache was still there, but it had receded to the point of being manageable. and just in time, because i had committed to picking up a treadmill from a colleague at work. she and her husband never used it, and i would use it often. in a world, that is, where i can actually get out of bed and take a deep breath without puking.

'cause, see, i want to be healthy and live to write another day. another headache like that one, however, and i might have to re-evalate.

cleaning up

geez, look at this place.

what a mess. all kinda dust and cobwebs and...hey, who left the empty wine bottles on the floor? ain'tcha heard of recycling?

see, this is a good example of what happens when you let a buncha trivial stuff turn into priorities. next thing you know the minutia takes over, and there's no time or room for the important stuff. like a personal blog, ferinstance.

i need to take better care of this place. i need to treat it like a second home, the one you retreat to when the world gets a little too loud.

if we actually had a second home, that is.

if we did, it'd be on the water, on a promonotory, with lots of land behind it and nothing but horizon in front. there would be trees protecting the approach, and a goat trail down to the water. you wouldn't even see the path from the water; it'd be hidden by boulders and cut-backs. when the tide was in, all you'd see is a steep granite face.

the house would have a distinctive scent about it, clean but enveloping. something like cedar, but not quite so easily identified. every time you'd walk in the door, that spicy attar would welcome you, and when you were away you'd yearn for it. on a very good day you could pick up, say, a shirt you last wore at the house, bury your face in it and be transported there, for a few moments.

to the north and south of us would be mountains, and storms would bank from one massif to the other. you'd be able to see the storms approach, and learn to time their arrival by their position on either side of the house.

it'd be a good place for the family, and a teriffic place for a couple of dogs.

which brings me back to where i started, which was the inattention and neglect hereabouts. my last post here was difficult. every time i came back, there it was, and i couldn't help but read it. when i was done reading, i essentially turned off the lights and closed the door behind me.

but i'm back now.

it's time to get things back in order.