Wednesday, December 27, 2006


We returned from visiting the in-laws to discover that Ms. Impelled's arrangements for Santa 's delivery of several large presents had gone awry.

Shortly upon our return, we got this call:

"Hi, it's your neighbor, I am so sorry we forgot to help with that delivery."

"Oh, don't worry about it. Thanks for looking after the cat, we really appreciate it."

"Well, sure, but I'm so sorry we spaced that delivery thing."

"Look, we managed it no problem, the kids will believe anything. Now, if we had found the cat dead on the kitchen floor from dehydration, that would have been traumatizing."

Monday, December 25, 2006


Okay, I think we're through the worst of that.  Presents, dinner, family -- all more than I can take, but I think we're on the other side and we can start working on making next year's a little better.
Finally figured out how to get some miles in here, despite the 32 degree weather.  Punched out three miles, and some calisthenics, and feel a lot better for it.  Exercise focuses the mind.  Also, I've been playing a lot of blitz chess on line -- not normally my thing but I can't count on a longer chunk of time.  I'm sort of holding my own, but this afternoon I noticed I wasn't playing so much to learn but to pass the time, and my play often reflected that.  The exercise notwithstanding, I'm still a ways away from taking control of myself enough to be productive.

I can't do anything useful here, so I'm just keeping my head down. Another twelve hours or so and the worst of it is over.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yeah -- Mormon, Go Home

Seen this? Look, New York is a tough place for everyone. There are a lot of people sharing limited space, and more gets done if we're all efficient. Be quick, be light, pick your times, etc. We're organized and we expect our neighbors to be. In tight spaces it's just common courtesy. Tourists, of course, don't know this yet, and we actually do understand.

But we don't need the attitude.

It's not our fault that you need three suitcases for a weekend trip, or are are changing hotels over the weekend, or trying this during the cab changeover. Nor is some over-worked cabbie required to take a crummy crosstown fare at the height of shopping hour because you can't read a bus map (available at any subway kiosk; I think you're looking for the M50). Yes, there is a law, intended to ensure transportation for poor people living in lousy neighborhoods, not middle income people in the middle of badly planned vacations. Don't abuse it.

We all make mistakes, but most of us fix our own and apologize for any trouble we've caused. You and your Clampetts act are in the way and it's irritating. We'll deal, but try not to step on more toes than is absolutely necessary. You want to write about your cross-town Iditarod? Write about how you made a complete hash of a one mile trip and, in the process, carelessly inconvenienced several hundred people to one degree or another, and self-righteously chased some working stiff out of an hour's wages.

We just live here. You are whatever you were when you stepped off the plane. Don't blame us for whatever the city reveals that to be.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Do No Harm

I don't enjoy Christmas, so I guess blogger form calls for a cleansing screed.  (Of course, I'd like a _real_ Christmas, an echo of the Echo of the Big Bang, but that isn't what Wal-Mart et al have in mind, is it?)  But railing against the world's stupidities still calls the world stupid and yourself against it, the world with the stupidities, even when railing on the pretense of Defending All That's Good and True.  I'll pass. 

Yes, yes, celebrating in my own way would be a lot more positive.  I'm too busy.  Maybe next year.  This year, it's the season of the clenched jaw, and minimized damage to everyone else's fun, and trying to push the important stuff forward amid the distractions.

Next year might be better.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apologia Pro Dementia Sua

Like everything else in the Fussy orbit, I've been looking at Julia Sweeney's blog. Unlike everything else, I'm commenting there. I'm addicted to these little running battles -- I square off against some over-generalizing know-it-all with some very careful statement and then break them down when they inevitably reply to what they _think_ I said. It's about as interesting as playing chess up a queen. I tell myself I'm just putting my opinions out there, but come on -- how convincing is it to bore people to tears no matter how right you are? There has to be a better source of stimulation.

It doesn't help that I find this the dullest and most anxious time of the year. I feel like I'd do anything to stir up a little activity and distraction. A little intellectual bullfighting is just the thing, and on the internet you don't have to deal with the people you've pissed off. Maybe I should try cocaine, at least it might be less antisocial.

Anyhow, for whoever might see this, I really do regret being so confused as to waste everyone's time with such idiocy, and I'm trying to do better. I wish I would just stop, but if you don't know the sources of your tics you can't find better ways to satisfy them and they eventually lead you right back to where you started. The trick, I'm hoping, is to outgrow my failings rather than stifle them.

In the meantime, I'm sorry.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kyrotic Christmas

We've set up the tree, and you needn't sit in the living room to know it. Doorknobs all over the house have ornaments that Littlest Impelled has removed from the tree and repositioned -- I guess she doesn't want the decorating to end. And Kitty Impelled is knocking off ornaments (we've put the plastic ones down low) and chasing them all over the house. Christmas 2006 stretches out long into the future; we'll finding these things the day we move out of here.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I suddenly seem to be Mr. Religion Comment. James and Proverbs in comments here, bugging Ms. Kennedy in her comments, sending rejoinders via email. WTF?

I'm way too far behind in my reading to be a religion blogger. I believe Christians need to adjust to crises caused by World War I and the Holocaust. I'm not sure Christianity ever really adapted when it lost its ability to dictate cosmology and biology.

(No, I'm not saying the Church is wrong about sexual ethics or spiritual authority or pipe organs as Church music. Sorry.)

But I honestly can't say what Christians have said about any of this. These are obvious problems and I'm sure someone has written about them at length. I only read the Bible two or three years ago, so no, I'm not qualified.

Faith crops up here because it's part of how I live. I fence with nice people like Ms. Kennedy probably because I'm ornery. Faith might be the least understood thing in America today -- people say things about it that just make no sense and I can't help myself.

But I'm not interested in endlessly working out my own ignorant opinions in "public" or taking on the controversialist role. It just brings out the worst in me, and it isn't going anywhere useful to anybody. I'm looking for new approaches, and I'm not repeating my bad habits here.

Except, of coursea, when I do.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Questions, One Answer

Hello my internet friends! Whew, did I need a rest. Not that I've used the time for any of that redrafting we've discussed earlier.

I know all the NaBloPoMo world awaits prize announcements, and I guess the award of badges, with bated breath. No such problems here, where we're short two posts -- one on purpose, one because we screwed up our own address -- and know we're getting squat. I could appeal to the Chair for a distasterisk, but I think Eden has better things to do with her time than adjudicate this stuff.

Deleting that 8 November post was surprisingly hard. Hardly anyone reads this thing, I don't care about prizes, it wasn't that good a post in the first place -- and I didn't so much delete it as move it to another date. But I thought it was kind of a clever thing, and knew that a lot of people were really worked up about the must-post-daily thing. I thought it might get some attention, and wondered if this was the sort of attention I wanted. Blogs seem to be about an evolved identity in community with other bloggers, and your first big splash shows the blogosphere what you're about and invites some people in and drives others off, and was I going to attract the kind of people I would want to over the long term? But if the whole thing is about spontaneous development, what point is there in trying to choose your big moment?

All these interesting questions were postponed by the question of whether this blog is ever to have a big moment of any kind, to which the answer so far is (at best), "not yet."

Which also seems the answer to "will Impelled ever abandon explication for narrative?"