Been in Boston the past couple of days, doing as little as humanly possible. But slowness is not in my nature, so the mind is running overtime in spite of my best efforts.
On the positive side, my sister lives in perhaps the coolest house ever: a classic piece of 3-story (plus attic) Americana out in Alston, which could easily double as a small fraternity. Eight punk, anarchist, scenster and otherwise hip young kids live there normally, all with their own rooms, all decorated in the most enviable student-slum style. They have a basement which is a semi-regular venue for shows, and the whole place is very organic and alive, even when the only occupants are myself, my sister, and one of her remaining roommates; makes me all the more chagrined at the still-barren state of my living quarters out west.
Also on the plus side, she and my mom and I are staying in a nice hotel in downtown boston for two nights, taking a load off. There's a gas fireplace and a bathtub big enough for me to submerge my whole lanky self, and this morning I'm munching on a neapolitan from the North end and sipping a very decent cup of joe. Being with family is a uniquely rewarding and annoying experience. There no one else on earth who can understand your issues or push your buttons the way family can. It's good to get back in touch with that
On the down side, air travel continues to be an awful experience. It's not the LEVEL ORANGE that bothers me, it's the way airlines are so passive-aggressive in the way they tell you what to do. "Because your safety is our first concern, your seat belt should remain fastened whenever you are seated..." Parse that language; it makes so fucking sense whatsoever. The whole experience seems vaguely facistic to me, all the pre-written language. The reason they want you to keep your seat belt buckled is so on the off chance the plane hits a big air pocket and drops 40 or 50 feet, you drop with it instead of hitting your head on the celing and maybe filing a lawsuit. Yes, this happens. I would feel better about the whole thing if they started it off with "Because avoiding legal liability is our first concern..."
Also on the down side, I've been slogging around in the regular world (air travel, rather unsuccessful shopping excursions; not New York or San Francisco) and what I see makes me afraid. I now worry at night about whether or not the country is totally doomed or not, and have begun again to countinance figments of a pirate utopian backup plan. Madagascar, here I come? Well, not yet. I still think it's worth a shot to try and turn 300 million of the world's richest people -- posessed of the greatest arsinal of death-dealing instruments in human history -- into enlightenened, thoughtful, generous, world-conscious souls. I mean, how fucking cool would that be?
One of these years I'd like to do something alternate on Christmas, like go out to one of the big Jewish party events on Christmas eve, or camp out in the wilderness or something. Anyway; I hope wherever you are you're having a nice day. Don't forget to breathe.