17 march 1999  

and once I got some grapefruit from tampa

I don’t like to make a habit of going so long between entries here, I lose brain momentum, and expectation, the little devil, creeps in to haunt the spaces where the muses usually hang out. I've been unable to sit down here lately because I've been dancing around with unbridled glee from the arrival of my new laptop.

Yes. That’s right. I knew you’d be thrilled.

After sitting Buddha-like at the window for hours waiting for the FedEx man, trying to calm my anticipation with chants of OMMMMM that were overruled by involuntary renditions of "The Wells Fargo Wagon", he came. I saw him round the corner about a quarter-mile away and my synapses sang. I bounced down the hallway and waited behind the front door. Through the peephole I watched him pull up in front of the driveway.

Okay, time the opening of the door for when he first steps off the van…

No no, just open it now, let him know you’re home…

No. Wait till he’s on the porch. Play it cool. Show him what you're made of...


I am in touch with my inner goofball. I’m giddy, but it's the grown-up kind, and even though I feel like a kid, I can’t call this thing a toy: not when there's this kind of moolah involved. It’s a tool, yeah, that’s it, a tool. I clear my throat before talking about the advantages it offers me. On the outside, I’m James Mason, on the inside -- Daffy Duck.

Viv has been very good about the whole thing. The presumption on my part that bringing her into compliance on this matter would require some hypnosis was ill-founded. No repeated whisperings into her ear during REM sleep were necessary. In fact, she spent the first night in bed with the thing, headphones on, watching a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert. She laid there Buddha-like in its active matrix glow, DVD-ROMMMMMM, and removed the headphones only long enough to remind me that Stevie Ray is on The List. What list? Oh, that List. Note to self: pick up Helen Hunt movie on DVD.

* * * * * * *

So now, of course, I want to travel. Drive and drive and write and drive and write.

Viv and I have been talking about going to Las Vegas. She just returned from there, and every time she comes home she offers rhapsodies on how garishly unique it is, how kitschy and gauche and perfect for our taste. I’ve been there only once. I went with my parents in 1970, when I was thirteen. We stayed at the Tropicana. As compensation for being good and staying in the room while they gambled, they took me to see a show. Carol Channing. Imagine my excitement. Oh, and we walked around Circus Circus too, which was new back then. Gosh, a trapeze act above slot machines. Be still my heart.

Actually, the truth is I’ve been there twice. The second time was in the late ‘70’s when I worked for the YMCA. I drove fourteen 12-14 year-olds in the back of a stake truck from L.A. to Aspen, CO and back again over two weeks in late August. We didn’t stop in Vegas, we just drove through. Luckily Carol Channing was not headlining there at the time, otherwise I’m sure the boys and girls would’ve insisted on catching the matinee. Aspen was nice, but do you know the incomparable pleasure of Needles, CA on the last day of August? With fourteen teenagers? Boiling points, nothing but boiling points, and heat-induced fantasies of adolescenticide.

But that was all long ago, when a dollar was a dollar and the moon was made of American cheese.

Well, I'm off to load and configure. I know I promised some of you in e-mail that I'd be updating more, and I'm sorry for this little backslide. But it's all for the good.

More better soon.

today's music:

"The Wells Fargo Wagon" -- The Ensemble -- THE MUSIC MAN: ORIGINAL MOVIE SOUNDTRACK


today's wisdom:

"We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us."

- Marshall McLuhan