Saturday, January 21, 2012


i'm writing with just my right hand, the left being occupied with holding a cell phone whilst i wait for an apple techie to tell me how to access a Word doc--any Word doc--without going through this Office setup hell involving dumb web sites, surveys, and updates that won't let you see your Word doc. very frustrating. very boring. i never knew till recently  that brits say whilst rather than while. I am whilsting away a saturday night in the worst way...

Well, that wasn't much fun. Apple help guy (real) kicked me over to Microsoft help line (virtual) who told me first that call volume was unusually high--even though I wasn't speaking that loudly--and then that the department of My Problem was closed for the day. So the hell with it.

Speaking of "hell": Had a dream last night in which my son Matt and I were on a game show (this game show element has been appearing frequently in my dreams lately) as a father-son team. We were pitted against two other pairs. One pair was Rudolf Giuliani and Sarah Palin. The other pair, non-celeb, like us. The object of the game was to keep talking coherently on a particular topic and then lob it over to your partner, who then lobs it back to you, etc. I muttered "Baseball and Art" to Matt before we went on. I introduced us, on-air, to the judge. Apparently doing so broke a rule, but the emcee, slightly embarrassed, laughed it off, noting what a spontaneous fellow I was. Then we began, desperately trying to keep alive a narrative about a shortstop who became a pitcher and then someone hit a ball straight up, sky-high...somehow it ended. I don't think we did well, but we were still in the game. Then one of our opponents introduced himself as hailing from Arkansas, and in another burst of spontaneity, I affected a southern accent and said, "The hell you say!" and immediately realized I had blown it as the emcee turned pale and then bright red and said that that was wrong on so many levels and I knew the show would have to go off the air. Feeling ashamed but taking the bailout of waking up, I did so.

So it's come down to telling my dreams, has it? Well, whatever fits. My resolution to pound out a half-hour entry per day didn't gain much traction, diverted as I was by a pair of manuscripts this month, one about Frederick Douglass, the other about Pompeii. Good topics, but wearying and not leaving me with the kind of clean, beckoning half-hour I required, notwithstanding the time I was devoting to reading the Boston Globe comics and other guilt-making fripperies.

Anyhow, the flat rock has come down for its second skip on the lake's surface, even if it took a phone queue and a dream to guide it. So we'll see where the next one lands.

Meanwhile, here's to the pursuit of happiness. May the whistle be worth the whilst.


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