July 2007

Hi there. This was a pretty lazy weekend for me. I was feeling sick today, weak, slight chills with my hands all tingly, so I wound up on the couch all day. Does that sound like slightly strange symptoms? Probably not enough food or water or something. I’m feeling a bit better now.

I feel pretty self-absorbed talking about my own ailment when Isabel’s tending to a friend in the hospital who has a ‘very serious’ illness that the doctor’s haven’t diagnosed, possibly Hepatitis. They want to send her home without having diagnosed it, so that’s usually not good.

I sometimes have to remind myself that life is not ‘generally good’, even though I have been happy. It’s a sappy thing to say you’re lucky, but true. You just happen to be floating on the positive side of life right now, thinking that ‘life is generally good’, but at any moment things could switch and you’ll wind up with the view that the world is a cold, hard place. I have managed to stay clear of serious pain in my life, but you never want to forget that it would be lurking right around the corner.

On the lighter side, I saw the Simpons movie. Wasn’t really planning on it, but it seemed the thing to do Saturday afternoon. Enjoyable and forgettable. About as good as 3 above-average episodes. A few memorable moments, I guess, and in no way a waste of time. Kind of a disappointment considering how long they’ve been talking about it, I guess.


So, now that the stakes are raised, what can I do to get you to keep coming to my site? Well…you like babies, right? And other small children? Well, then how about this guy?

That’s Bram, spinning a ball in a birdbath. Makes you long for the days when you spun balls in birdbaths, doesn’t it? That was at my grandparents’ house, earlier this summer. Bram just turned two. He likes to walk around and pout. He cried a lot when his dad took him to Maine.

Then there’s Richard, Bram’s older bro. He takes care of Bram. If Bram’s ever unsecurely fastened to his Dad’s back, Richard’s there, screeching for him to stop. Richard likes to draw, play his mini-piano, and go to Storyland.

But the most impressive young person of the summer had to be Mr. William. He was, after all, able to sing the Star Wars theme, and into a fan nonetheless. Here he is, with a fan-altered rendition of an old classic.

I like your blogs, pappazon and jerkface. Guess I’ll have to start writing things worth reading if I want people to visit me over here. Which was probably why I started doing this thing anyway. I forget.

So Isa is all done with her job at Earthwatch, if I haven’t mentioned, and is going full speed ahead with the business venture. Unfortunately we don’t have any money for it, but we’ll figure something out, I hope. It’s this personal history type of thing. You give us somebody whose story needs to be told, and we’ll tell it. Tributes, life histories, vignettes of a specific time in life, you name it.

So far it’s been lots of logistical work, like talking to lawyers and tracking down website designers, and figuring out what the products would be and how much they’d cost. By the way, does anyone know a really cheap attorney familiar with waivers and trademarks and other business-related stuff? How about a good web designer that makes really sleek sites? How about investors with a little seed money?

Anyway, my main job is organizing the demos–interview various relatives and turn them into the books or framed pages for samples.

What else? The I on my keyboard went dead, so Isa bought a new keyboard at Staples that she plugged into the laptop. It works pretty well so far. The loss of the “I” became symbolic when we went on a family visit to Maine this past weekend, where my aunt and uncle have a place, and the madhouse of Andrewses made Isa feel as if her identity had been subsumed. I told her it has–there is no I in famly. We did get to have some fun kayaking, though we got rained on and missed our docking point, and had to hoist our kayaks up a muddy embankment. We did see some bald eagles flying, which led to some rousing renditions of “Let the Eagle Soar.” 

The irrepressible August Tsanakas is no more. Taken down by a Metra train, while shooting heroin. Services tomorrow in River Grove.

His downward spiral continued after I last saw him in New Orleans a few years back, his brother Billy tells me. Lost all his videos in Hurricane Katrina and caught a blood disease from the water that put splotches on his face. Moved back to Chicago and started shooting heroin. Wore out his welcome in more and more bars and OTBs, until finally none of them would let him in. Finally his family told him to get help before they’d keep giving him money. Instead he went out on the train tracks. Billy says it wasn’t suicide, however–the conductor’s report said that in the end he was trying to get out of the way.

Perhaps more later, but for now, I’ll browse through the old stories of a memorable guy.

So, the consensus seems to be building that we should be getting out of Iraq 
(welcome, New York Times and more Republican senators). I imagine that most of you agree that we should somehow get out. So what do we do? Do we want to just withdraw everyone? Do we keep some troops in as advisors/sitting ducks? Do we somehow follow the Democratic “pull and strike” proposal where you have troops at the ready to send in airstrikes or troops if you see Al Qaeda people running around?

I can’t think of a scenario where we’re doing more than being a power broker in the civil war that is likely to resume. And then, when the civil war’s over, we can go back to the role we had when saddam was in power, with terrorist camps replacing nuclear weapons as the paranoia du jour. Air strikes, empty threats, and generally wondering what is going on over there.

So what’s your plan? What’s the most likely result? And what’s the worst-case scenario?