June 2007


Our neighborhood has become an interesting place. There have always been people driving up to the houses across the street, music blaring, and then yelling up to the people inside to come out. Now we have crowds of people hanging out on their porch or just standing on the street, groups of six or seven young kids just sitting on the sidewalk, sometimes playing with chalk, often getting yelled at by their parents, and the grown-ups shouting insults at one another and getting in one anothers’ faces. One night a neighbor was shooting fireworks off his balcony.

A little while back there was a drug bust across the street. A swarm of officers descended, banging on the door, and one guy tried escaping through a window, unsuccessfully. Half an hour later the women still hanging around were treating it like a joke. “They were squeezed into that car like a pack of sardines,” one lady said of the police. A little later one woman told another that she had used her friend’s name when the police asked who she was. “Well, if you’re me, then who am I?” she asked. They compared notes about what the poilce got, what to do about bail, and when they had to be in court, and eventually got on with their day.

Isa is ready to move, but not until buy a house. I guess we’ll wait it out, watching the comings and goings out our living room window. Maybe I’ll have a hanging with the homeless story yet.

I recently discovered this awesome new blog called gorditz. I don’t know what the word gorditz means, but perhaps gorditz can enlighten me. You probably never heard of it.

Today we put the air conditioner in. It always makes me a bit nervous, especially being on the third floor an all. It reminds me of a time when my friends gorditz and sergio were over, sleeping in our spare room, and they woke me up to let me know they had sent the air conditioner tumbling to its death four stories down, having thrust the window open. I was just thankful it didn’t take with it the computer, which was attached to the same power strip.

Hillary? What about this Mike Gravel guy? If this campaign ad doesn’t have you hooked, I don’t know what will. 

What was I going to do with my life again? I knew I had an  idea around here somewhere. Maybe it was to be a project manager at a textbook developer. Create a product that is rushed to the printer on a shoestring budget, making people’s lives miserable for a few months while creating a product that’s inferior to what was done a few years ago. 

 At least I’m getting management experience, I suppose. Doing things like telling people to work faster, get more done without working overtime, because we don’t have the budget for it.

I’m back to my fighting weight, anyway. I weighed within ten pounds of the same weight from high school until a couple of years ago. Then I put on about 15 pounds, leading me to worry that I would grow heavy in middle age. Now I’m back to where I was. I guess that’s what happens when you spend all day running around the office and stop taking lunch.

I used to like this job. Hopefully it will go back to being likeable. Otherwise it will be on to plan B, whatever that is. Getting an advance on my first novel?

I don’t know where I last heard someone talk about the slippery slope. I think it was to do with civil liberties. The guy on the radio was saying, you might not mind this liberty being taken away, but before you know it the next one is taken away, and so on until we’re all sitting in a prison…or maybe it’s, don’t relax your standards of decency today, because they could get even more relaxed tomorrow.

I don’t get this slippery slope idea. When does the slope become “slippery”? Is there some mechanism that forces you to continue down a path against your will once you’ve taken the first step? As far as I can tell, you pretty much walk right down the slope. Is it an assumption that you have better judgment today than you will tomorrow, that you have to protect yourself against your future judgments? Today, maybe I think it’s okay for the government to tap our phones. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll think it’s okay to bust in without a warrant. I may not agree with that now, but I’ll trust myself to make the decision that seems best when the times comes.