There comes a point in the life of every Webmaster when s/he wonders out loud, "Why am I doing this?" In my case, it was about the third day this site was up. And while it has been relatively well-received during the four years of its existence, by which is meant that no one has sent me any live explosives just yet, the possibility of stagnation constantly lurks and occasionally even looms.
What to do? I thought it over for less time than I probably should have, and decided that what dustbury.com was lacking (apart from personality, tastefulness, and utility, but that's another story) was a sense of immediacy. Pages got updated when I got around to them; some things got lost in the shuffle. And while I have no problem blaming some of this on the vagaries of the workplaceat best, long hours make for short tempersat least one of the tailbones needing a suitable kick was my own.
Thus, Version 7 (you're soaking in it) introduces my Sort Of Blog, a way for me to get some stuff on the table without regard to the semi-regular Vent schedule or the ongoing necessity to update the other sections. Most of the existing pages will continue as before, though minor design changes will be forthcoming here and there, and the usual sporadic updates will continue to take place, as the saying goes, When I Get Around To Them.
I am quite aware that most people who happen onto this site aren't here because they're fans of my particular brand of bilge. They've come by way of your favorite portal in search of links to their favorite tunes, or to find out if there's anything to that World Currency Cartel stuff, or to catch a glimpse of that which can't be seen. Fair enough. I never believed for more than a New York minute that my own story was any different from, or any more enlightening than, the 7,999,999 others in the Naked City. But dammit, this is my site, and my X number of dollars a year; it ought to reflect at least as much of me as it does Lesley Gore or Sue Storm. And if this means I have to move my heart farther along my sleeve, so be it.
Over the years, three analysts have tried and mostly failed to make a dent in my mass of neuroses, but I still consider the experience part of the learning process, and one of the things I've learned is that one ought not to take dreams too seriouslywhich, given the general dark tone of most of my dreams, is probably essential to maintaining some semblance of sanity. No way can I subscribe to the theory that, as David Cassidy might have said, "dreams are nothin' more than wishes." Some of these things I wouldn't wish on anyone. (Well, maybe on J. C. Watts.)
Still, there has to be some reasonoverwork? trying to chintz out on the clothing budget? too much basil in the spaghetti sauce?why my slumbering mental processes would put together a semi-coherent narrative about how my appearance in a bathrobe in a major communications facility would wind up motivating the national intelligence community to form a special division with operatives for whom transvestism is the mildest of kinks. Not to mention my date with Regis Philbin.
Those who know me will point to two actual facts:
Contradictory premises at the very core of it all. Still, reconciling contradictions is part of everyday life, so it's probably no wonder I could come up with something that makes as little sense as this. What I want to know is how come I can work up a good linear storyline when I'm asleep, but while I'm awake, I can't make the slightest dent in the blankness of the screen?
Oh, and Reege? A perfect gentleman.
Well, this has been a strange sort of day.
First thing, Molly, my lately-too-often-beleagured car, came down with a bad case of the stalls, which only partially cleared up once she realized she was on her way to a service shop. As is my usual custom, I rented temporary wheels, and this time the agency came up with a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu in Betty Crocker Frosting White, possibly the very car that got GM denounced by wags as "Generic Motors"; stenciling "CAR" on its doors wouldn't be much of a reach. If Chevy trucks are, as the ads say, "like a rock," this mid-size Malibu is a packet of gravel. Over the lumpy concrete and randomly-located expansion joints of the Belle Isle Bridge at a modest 55 mph, it bounds and lurches like a kangaroo on diuretics. I'm starting to see why the General's market share is going into the old porcelain facility.
Then came a call from the estimable (and pseudonymous) Nova Hotsex. If I've learned anything in my quarter-century in Oklahoma, it's that you do not blow off calls from oil-industry insiders, especially oil-industry insiders with killer legs. Ms H was happy to inform me that my analysis of gas prices, while it correctly identified some infrastructure problems, left off a major issuea pipeline from the Atlantic coast to the Midwest apparently broke last year somewhere in deepest Ohio, and repairs are unfinished. In fact, they're unbegun. The need to transport all this stuff by truck is making a bad situation far worse. When will the supertube be fixed? Not even Nova knows.
Rain again. This makes seven days out of the last nine. I'm not prone to seeing myself as a victim of seasonal affective disorder, but I'm just so sick of rain I could just scream. Of course, two months from now, when it's drier than Dennis Miller's deodorant, I'll probably eat these words.
I was chided today for forays into Deep Irrelevancy. To which I can only reply, "How 'bout those Sox?"
Where does it say that Monday the 26th is supposed to be twice as bad as Friday the 13th?
It began, of course, with more rain. At work, I was faced with multiple printer failuresone of them had to have its memory reflashed, a procedure which deserves to be on ESPN2more than the usual yammering from illiterate or incompetent or idiotic (choose one or more) members of the customer base, and a lot of "But we need you" blather with the thinly-disguised subtext, "How dare you schedule a vacation week?"
It ended, of course, with more rain.
The Borg, thorough as they usually are, nevertheless got it wrong. Existence is futile. Things go from bad to worse, then the cycle repeats. When a $900 auto-repair bill starts to look like a moral victory, there's something dreadfully askew. Am I asking too much from life? I mean, I don't expect the semi-mythical Woman Of My Dreams to fall into my arms or anything (and why should she?), and an objective observer would probably conclude that I am better off alone anyway. But is it too much to hope for a string of two or three days when I don't have to scream at passersby, when I don't need to drug myself into submission just to get surcease from the day's exasperations?
Life is not supposed to be this irritating. And if it is, well, thirty days from today, I'm due for a colonoscopy. If I'm really, really lucky, they'll find something lethal. Assimilate that, you peripatetic putzim.
Molly has come home, still with her ongoing infirmity, but her spirit remains defiantly unbowed. The next step, alas, is brain surgery: she'll spend a week in the shop while the Electronic Control Module (a crummy little circuit board which, were it installed in PCs, would cost $16 new instead of $1600) is removed, sent off to some remote wizard, and returned to its proper place. While this will make a deep dent in my Visa card, well, it's plastic; it will recover eventually. Exactly when the deed is to be done, I haven't yet decided. It was difficult enough to pick a date for my own operation.
Interestingly, when you (or when I, anyway) type "mazda ecm" into Alta Vista's search function, the pages of hits are festooned with Toyota ads. Hmmm...
Meanwhile, ostensibly in the background but not really, Julie London sings of love lost and opportunities to come. Dave Marsh once said that there is a place in the dark heart of the soul where it's always 4 am. Julie, bless her, stays up late.
Much as I'd like to, I can't really get too worked up over the Supreme Court's decision allowing the Boy Scouts of America to keep gay men out of the ranks of troop leaders. While this might seem inconsistent with other positions I have taken, I'm inclined to believe, as did five of the nine Supremes, that the organization's right to select its members trumps an individual's right to require that organization to accommodate him. Are the Scouts being pigheaded and Neanderthal? Maybe. But being pigheaded and Neanderthal isn't illegal, and I'd hate to see the sort of society in which it is. If gay-rights advocates need a new issue, I'd suggest they request some sort of recognition for gay men in the testosterone-ridden National Football Leaguesay, by pushing for the renaming of a team. Not even PETA could object to the Green Bay Peckers.
Another inch of rain today. That brings the monthly total to just about seven, with two days yet to go. (Normal is a smidgen over four.)
Oh, and so long, Elián. Come back and see us when you can.
Someone using the facilities of an outfit styling itself Integrity Online, billed as a "Cleaner Internet Service" and a "Filtered ISP", much the way General Motors might have bragged about its four-cylinder Camaros in the early Eighties, wandered over here this evening, having run a search for 1992 Playmate of the Year Corinna Harney, which duly deposited said someone on a page I wrote about my perennial inability to predict the PMOY.
Go ahead, write your own joke.
This is definitely the wrong time to be running low on Xanax.
While lemmings, contrary to popular belief, don't go plunging off the cliff for the sheer delight of it, mankind isn't always quite so bright. Your mother, you'll recall, once (maybe more than once), asked you "And if [fill in name of offensive playmate] [fill in name of offensive activity], are you going to do it too?" And before you hung your head sheepishly, you thought, "Well, why the hell not?"
Political scientists and other inflated pundits call this the bandwagon effect, and they're always careful to deride it. The possibility that someone might have gotten to the same destination without that particular vehicle is seldom considered.
I mention this because inevitably, some notion of mine will occasionally coincide with someone's pet cause, or more likely with someone's pet peeve, and if one has demonized the oppositionthe preferred method of politics in America todaythe task of demonizing me becomes much simpler. Trust me, it's not worth the bother. No one can make me look bad more efficiently than I can.
I put in a 15-hour day today. Talk about feeling miserable at work.
We have now gone a whole 24 hours without any rainfall. How long this will last, I have no idea, but surely there will be a parade on the Fourth, and....
| Copyright © 2000 by Charles G. Hill