Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Meteor Prompts Meatier Thoughts

It’s taking me a while to get back into the swing of things … to recognize news nuggets worthy of writing about here … to reopen my senses to the idiosyncratic.

This story helps.

About 10 days ago, a meteorite slammed to the ground in southern Peru. Nothing too unusual there; space rocks land on our planet regularly. What grabbed me was that the resulting crater has made dozen of locals horribly ill.

Authorities, according to this story from USA Today, are inspecting the scene to see what the hell is going on. Eyewitnesses saw a ball of fire crash to earth, creating a crater 66 feet wide by 16 feet deep, and now people nearby complain of difficulty breathing, headaches, and nausea. Experts say toxic fumes are causing these health effects—probably from the dust it kicked up rather than from the meteorite itself.

I have my own ideas about the cause of the sickness.

The 2008 Presidential candidates. The race so far features many good people with many good attributes. But none of them scream “presidential.” I like Ron Paul’s libertarian bent, but not his bent toward conspiracism. I like Barack Obama’s fresh look at old issues, but not his idealistic naïveté. I like John McCain’s experience and foreign policy chops, but not his temper.

I guess I’m looking for Barack McPaul, and he ain’t running. Where is our real leader?

My writing. Sure, you all like it when I mock easy targets. You even smile and pretend to enjoy the blog when I go political. But I’m just not firing on all cylinders lately, either here or in my for-profit writing. Maybe I’m losing my edge … or maybe I just keep wishing I were on my beach vacation.

Perhaps I should just write beach stories.

The VMAs. No, I’m not saying Britney was “fat.” Her body was fine, especially considering the hell she’s put it through in the past few years; a few extra pounds actually looks just good, thank you very much. Instead, the VMAs make the list because the so-called “Music Television Channel” even bothers to present these awards.

Every time I flip by, MTV is showing some Godforsaken reality show, not videos. And reality shows don’t deserve awards.

The price of my tickets to The Police concert. Yes, I’ve waited 20 freakin’ years to see this band live. Sure, some of the proceeds go to charities providing clean water to less fortunate people around the world. And I’ll admit I have tickets within Sting’s tantric spitting distance. I shouldn’t object.

But paying more than $500 for two tickets makes my spleen hurt. I’ve had fines from real police that cost less.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Vacation Observations

Perceptive readers noticed my now-dated comment on my own last post saying that I was taking two weeks off for vacation. And I wasn’t kidding.

I ate … I drank … I was merry. It was fun and relaxing. I didn’t worry about things like work, money, or sanity.

In short, for two weeks I was Paris Hilton.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll spare you my reflections. Among the things I experienced:

The sun. It’s been a very busy spring and summer. I’d spent many, many too few hours outside during the past few months. Thus, I immensely enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with that bright life-giving orb in the sky.

Jellyfish. Lots of jellyfish. Although I’ve seen quite a few beaches over the years, I’ve never seen a beach with so many small translucent jellyfish washing up on the sand. It was odd … perhaps a sign of the apocalypse. Watch out for locusts and/or brimstone.

Cornhole tournament. There we were, minding our own business, and we came across a bar and grill with a huge sign promoting their upcoming “Cornhole Tournament.” Never having heard of such a thing (and only later learning it had to do with kicking a small bean bag around), we considered the myriad unattractive possibilities … and quickly went elsewhere.

Curiosity about my blog readers. What has happened in YOUR life in the past two weeks?