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March 19, 2001

A couple days ago I started writing, within the tags of my template, "I'm tired..." And then stopped. I can't write or think worth a bag of postwar German currency when I'm tired. When I'm stressed, depressed, hungry, poor... I guess those help in strange ways sometimes but overall, I'd say the effect is detrimental. I don't know how all those writers we read about managed to do it, but my tolerance for using my brain creatively while under a fatigue-induced fog has been steadily going down. Not that it was great to begin with.

I'm still tired -- and that's a predictable pattern of sameness; time in this sleepy neck of the woods does little to advance my life in noticeable ways other than killing brain cells and getting medieval on hair follicles -- but a little pocket of energy has sauntered in like a digital glob effect in a bad sci-fi movie, so maybe the brain can stand to work a little.

I still manage to be productive in other ways during periods like this; over the past week, for example, I ordered new business cards, went on a longish bike ride, took concrete steps to end the tyrannical hold our bank has over our money, finished a project for work... and puttered around doing various house things I tend to do when left alone. I guess I successfully obscure from my power of reasoning that all that running around amounts to something more than rearranging chairs. Meanwhile, reading piles up, photographs await, and other places remain unexplored -- snubbed in favor of the familiar elements. There's comfort in dabbling in mundane stuff.

I saw Man of La Mancha over the weekend, and in one scene Dulcinea snarled, "The world's a dung heap, and we're just maggots crawling over it!" No, it can't be that bad (well, for some people who have it a lot worse than Dulcinea this could actually be an understandable view), but I'm afraid I can't subscribe to Don Idiote's optimism either. There's just no let-up, and this despite our being what must be an extremely fortunate group of people in the world.

Kastoria, Greece, October 2000
Kastoria, Greece, October 2000.

Fantasy alert: I'm beginning to think the Library of Congress should open a hotel, a flophouse, rather. It should be like those Japanese beehive express inns, with the tiny, private rooms circling the collection. We could read, eat, go jog up and down the paths by the Reflecting Pool, and enjoy all the other museums around the Mall for free. Concerts in the courtyard of the National Gallery. We could work part-time during the day, I suppose; perhaps some companies would pay us to do research. We can carry the little tubes when the pneumatic order-shuttling system breaks down; put the books in the yellow trays, push the buttons, collect our pay. That's all you need, right? Enough money for food, a place to live -- a dry, quiet, well-lit place (Hemingway had called it something like that, except he was talking about a bar; to each his own, I guess) -- conversations with like-minded people, exercise... did I leave anything out?

... [silence, then the sound of coyotes howling in the distance]

No, I didn't leave that out; go back and look, I said "private rooms."


I received a creative piece of spam the other day. Take a look, these swindlers promise to submit your site to "300,000+" search engines for 10 dollars a month, "billed quarterly." Luckily I hovered over various portions of the image and was able to see the hidden messages in the alt tags. Whew, that was close.

We painted this red, because we know you're such a studly bull. Which is what this offer is, by the way... How do you like the bolts? We paid a graphic designer two grand to come up with that. Tell us we didn't get ripped off.
We think you're such an idiot that you'll be blown away by a miniature mockup of your site and send us your hard-earned money!!!
Will you please let these pathetic lemmings find their way... to YOUR site??? It's practically a charitable contribution. Watch how they bump their little dummy heads!
Did we say 'Traffic Magnet'? We meant 'Babe Magnet.' Chick Magnet. Hey, are you listening?... Jim, I think he's laughing at us.   Have some mercy, I've gotta make my quota or I'll get fired. Yours. --Christine  


Heh, thanks, Christine (if that's your real name). I needed a good laugh today. Best of luck in your scammy endeavor.

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