February 14, 2009


Earl and I are on our way to my Dad’s to drop off Tom in anticipation of our trip tomorrow. We were originally going to drive to Florida but we both love to fly so we are flying nonstop to Orlando tomorrow afternoon.

Even though I went to school to be a highway engineer, I’m really not feeling the “Happy Motoring!” vibe. Maybe I’m becoming crotchey, but it seems to me that people are becoming increasingly bad drivers and no one seems to give a damn. Drivers yak on cell phones, ignore traffic signals and any manner of discipline on the roads these days.

One thing I’m noticing is that people, in these parts at least, seem to be more and more terrified of “Right On Red”. It’s not a difficult concept, really, you stop at the red signal, assure that the coast is clear and then you make your right turn. It’s no different than a stop sign which, ironically, most people run.

Another issue that I have with drivers these days is that they’re terrified of winter driving conditions. Granted, if you live Corpus Christi you’re probaly not used to dealing with snow. But in these parts, where we get an average of 115 inches a year, snow is a given. However, no ice will be found on the road if it’s an early thaw and 50 degrees out, even if there is still snow on the ground. It’s physically impossible. There is no need to slow down to half of the speed limit.

So here I am. Sitting in the passenger seat. The cat is crying an average of one meow every 1.4 seconds and Earl is driving.

I think I might be a little crabby.


When I sit down to write a blog entry there are a lot of variables to be taken into account. Well, before we jump into that I have to clarify. In my head there are two types of blog entries that I write; I think of one as a “blog entry” and I think of the other as a “real blog entry”. I haven’t written what I consider to be a real blog entry in a while; the last was probably the entry about my childhood memory of riding on Bus 49. “Blog entries” contain the snippets of music videos and are like my journal entries. They talk about day-to-day stuff and come skimming off the top of my head. “Real blog entries” come from the bottom of the pot: they cook like a fine stew in my head for a little bit before I sit down and write them and then I occasionally wait a while before I hit the “Send to Weblog” button on my software.

One of my friends was attending grad school (through online courses) while she was working in the same job that I currently have. Our jobs were basically identical. She could write a twenty-page thesis on the socialisation of the Pussycat Swallowtail Butterfly in between incoming tech support calls that would drive a mortal insane: one involved a woman that wanted us to let more wire through her wall so she could move her phone, the other, a man that wanted to know why his computer screen was blank (the power was out). Yet, in between diagnosing issues, fighting with various telecommunication agencies and listening to the inane chatter that she was often subjected to, she was able to bang out a paper in no time. How she accomplished this I’ll never know, but she always cracked an “A”. It’s probably because she’s just wicked smart. I once tried to write a paper for English 101 on the novel “My Antonia” in the same fashion and I just couldn’t do it. I attribute my failure at the task to lack of focus. Or perhaps it was just ADD. Is that the same thing?

When I write a “real blog entry”, many conditions have to be met. The moon has to be full, I have to be in a special garb and incense must be burning. Actually, I’m wrong on those three conditions, that’s for something else that I do from time to time. In reality, when I write the space I’m writing in has to be relatively silent. I can deal with the hum of fluorescent lighting (and electronic goodies) or the ticking of a clock but I can’t have any sort of music playing on iTunes, a television blaring or a conversation taking place within a pre-determined radius (usually 1 to 2 miles). If I can hear it and it sounds intelligible (or bright and shiny in an aural sort of way), it’s going to distract me and then we have that whole ADD thing kicking in again. Earl occasionally gets offended when I sit down to write whilst are computers are back to back and I then choose to move into the bowels of the basement where it’s quite and all I can hear it the drip of the toilet leaking. Ironically, I can write a real blog entry in the middle of an internet cafe when I’m loaded up on sugar and there’s a whole lot of nonsense going on around me. Maybe the sugar helps make the nonsense turn into white noise or something.

Another condition that has to be met is that this all has to take place on the right computer. I have mentioned many times that I have MacBook Pro that’s not even a year old. It replaced my PowerBook G4 that I purchased in 2005. I loved my PowerBook and still use it for my music and sound editing work. I have considered parting with it but then I type on it for a few moments and it feels like an old friend. I feel very, very comfortable when I have my PowerBook on my lap. My MacBook Pro basically looks identical to the PowerBook but it just doesn’t ‘feel’ the same. The keyboards are nearly identical (despite the missing  [apple logo] on the command key) but they certainly don’t feel identical. The PowerBook’s keys are robust and feel confident, the keys on my MacBook Pro feel just a bit mushier. I make a lot of mistakes typing on the MacBook Pro, I think I’m going to wear out the delete key much faster. Nevertheless, I trudge along with the MacBook Pro because Apple is slowly killing off support for the older machines. So I guess I’ll have just to keep using this computer to make myself more comfortable with it. I know, it’s a nearly state of the art unit and I’m bitching about it. There are times when people think I’m never happy.

That’s not true at all.

I have read that some writers prefer a typewriter to a computer while others prefer their own penmanship to a typewriter, so I guess I don’t feel alone in seeking out the right conditions for writing a real blog entry.

Just as long as the toilet isn’t dripping on me.