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BY Michael

02/01 Direct Link
Wow, I got Word up in only 15 minutes with my new Windows 8 PC. I was warned that Win8 would be difficult. It is not as bad as I anticipated, although securing a new laptop is as hazardous as ever. The salesman assured me the model had Blue Tooth. After getting it home and spending two hours on setup and install, I discovered it did not have Blue Tooth. I called and they offered me a free Blue Tooth Dongle. I went back and of course they did not have any in stock and ordered one for me. Fun!
02/02 Direct Link
The snow hit hard again yesterday and left me wishing I had gotten new tires last time I had it serviced. I now have to plan trips to avoid getting stuck. Late last night I found myself in the storm lost in my own subdivision due to the visibility. I was circling the same slippery roads and getting stuck at the bottom of the same long hills. It took me a very long time to get home and by the time I got there I was having visions of my body frozen in a tiny Honda parked in a cul-de-sac.
02/03 Direct Link
I've read several articles recently extolling the virtues of writing by hand. Also, Friends have suggested there are benefits to this. I am skeptical. I have read that it is faster. This cannot be as I type 80 wpm while my handwriting is painfully slow. Making corrections and changes to computerized text is a breeze. Handwritten text? Good luck. They insist that you are in contact with a more authentic muse while writing by hand. It is true that I have a couple lovely fountain pens, but I do not feel any more connected using them than using my keyboard.
02/04 Direct Link
My new pc doesn’t seem is unable to reproduce music at a quality better than pc speakers, even with headphones. I can try an external DAC, but I am already adding a USB dongle because it doesn’t have the Bluetooth the salesman assured me it had. If I keep adding USB devices I am going to run out of USB ports. I have 15 days to take it back but I have spent two days transferring files. The more I use it the more I have invested in it. When do I give up and take the damn thing back?
02/05 Direct Link
I had a seizure today; I was lying on the couch watching Deep Space 9 when the aura struck. A little interesting serendipity there, although it was not a very spacey episode. It was one of their Love Boat episodes. They sneak one of those in occasionally. I have no idea how long the seizure lasted. I don't think the show was over when I woke up. I don't remember though. I have had the darn things all my life and of course the docs have no real idea what they are about. I have given up even reporting them.
02/06 Direct Link
It is put-out-the-garbage night. It is always a little bit more of a challenge when the snow is deep the way it is now. For starters it is just cold outside, very cold and dark. I rarely dress properly. The curb cart is frozen in about three foot of shoveled-up snow at the end of the driveway and must be dislodged. It inevitably dumps snow on me at this point and then I get to slip and slide with it down the driveway to the curb only to get stuck again in the slush thrown up from the county plow.
02/07 Direct Link
Jackson could barely stand up. The ice was hard and slick against the soles of his shoes. In spots it was clear and he could see pavement below. In other spots it was white and cloudy. In still other spots it was covered with a snow crust. He realized he had been walking in the tire tracks, in the middle of the road so to speak. Suddenly it seemed to him to be an easy way to get run over on a day like this. He moved out of the frozen rut and into the untouched snow to the side.
02/08 Direct Link
The light; everywhere there was light, too much light. Jackson tried to lift his eyes, but they ached. He could feel the shape of the eyeball orb in his head aching as he tried to lift it to the field of snow. He closed his eyelids until there was the barest slit. He stopped walking and closed his eyes completely watching the inner lids turn orange from the light. It was still too bright. He stood there a moment, his legs planted into the snow, leaning forward slightly and feeling the snow compress and take his weight, holding him up
02/09 Direct Link
He looked around for his drink. He could taste the coffee from earlier along the sides of his tongue, bitter really. There was no coffee on either of the side tables; only a bottle of water. He rested his eyes a moment, wondering in that space why he felt so tired. He had been up for five hours and there had been no break. Much of that time had been spent staring at computer displays. Maybe he just needed a break from the computer displays. He could go outside and feel the cold air against his eyes against his forehead.
02/10 Direct Link
Water seemed too important. It was everywhere. It dripped off the long icicles hanging from the eaves of the house. It sat deep in the ditches along the road. The earth was sodden with water, heavy. But of course it wasn't as if you could drink it. Maybe you could. There seemed to be a lot of uncertainty about that. Uncertainty about how quickly it would kill you, if it would kill you. Few seemed to want to find out. There were stories of entire districts being wiped out. Districts of people who were too poor to buy bottled water.
02/11 Direct Link
The Airedale wagged his whole body in excitement when he saw Jesus coming. Jesus could hear the links of the chain chiming against one another as the dog came down after pawing the air. The beast was back up again almost immediately. Jesus could feel the frozen sod crushing beneath his boots. He could feel the heat from the pan of mush through his gloves and the icy wind against his face, already too cold. He walked past the dog, feeling its frantic paws and claws against his coat. He set the pan on the ground up against the doghouse.
02/12 Direct Link
Matthew sat quietly in the long wooden pew studying the angled hardware pieces that held it bolted to the floor. He knew any movement on his part would cause a loud creaking noise. Not that he was worried about noise He had the place to himself. He could lift his head back and shout if he wanted to and perhaps nothing would happen. Perhaps Reverend Rothstein would materialize in the arch by the choir loft to see what the problem was because surely there must be a problem. Nobody ever shouted in the sanctuary. It was not the school gymnasium.
02/13 Direct Link
The loose snow gave him better traction than the ice. He was conscious of his boots biting into it. Down the road he saw an SUV headed his way, swerving a bit. The driver was possibly going a little too fast. Jackson stepped farther off the road, but kept moving watching the SUV approach. As it got closer it began slewing harder sideways, moving toward him. The driver was locking up the anti-lock brakes, which were not making much difference in these conditions. Jackson wasn't sure which way to move, It was clear the vehicle was headed off the road.
02/14 Direct Link
It was low and inside like lint in the pocket. It was a thing lodged in your chest that would not let your heart expand. It lay there like a weight that eventually would settle like hot iron on ice, would sear its way through to the center smoking and stinking. After that the only thing left would be the lint, low an inside with everything else burned away. He had tried different things to make it go away, but the full truth was he did not want it to go away. It was the only thing left with meaning.
02/15 Direct Link
The sun is bright this morning, and I face the east. The day is easily brighter than I, more awake than I, and has me wondering at the wisdom of trying to write out of this slow-moving foggy mind. I live in the dark muddy bottoms, brain barely moving in cold water. Sparks fizzle off into the water occasionally, circuits shorting from the damp, and thoughts move more independently than they should, crossing synapses that are not logical, taking long deep dives down into the silt below, where they sit happily, pretending they are actually on a beach sunning themselves.
02/16 Direct Link
The bottled water was often suspect itself. There were constantly news stories about ditch water being sold as bonfire brand name bottled water. It was no big trick to get your own bottling machine and a supply of bottles. The sealed caps were no big deal. Legitimate bottlers came out with inventive and exotic seals. Counterfeiters came out with even more inventive and exotic seals. People gave up and the bottled water sat on the shelf while everyone boiled their own. Unfortunately there was only so much boiling water could do for it. It would kill the organic contaminants, sure.
02/17 Direct Link
The dog immediately attacked the pan of steaming mush, smearing his curly face with the cornmeal, pushing the pan around on the frozen ground while Jesus stood back watching him. Jesus felt a gust of wind and turned his back to it letting it chill his spine. He looked out across the field of broken corn stalks to the woods beyond. They would be cold too. In this weather there was nowhere to hide from the cold. Jesus had learned that two years before when he had tried to run away. In the frozen woods there was nowhere to hide.
02/18 Direct Link
It seemed odd to him that no one was here yet. He looked at the Jesus picture over the organ. It was a picture of Jesus. The picture of Jesus always looked like that, a head shot, unless it were a full-length where he was wearing a long blue robe and was surrounded by animals and adoring halo'd Cherubs. Those were like the drawings in the coloring books with their wax smell wax and the impossible job of coloring the lamb white. There was a lamb they had made in first grade on black construction paper with cotton balls glued on.
02/19 Direct Link
Jackson stepped off to the left rolling over the snow piled up by the plow. Surprised to find himself on his feet again, he began moving as quickly as he could through the deep snow. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the SUV slewing around completely and heading toward him in reverse as the driver locked the wheels to the right. Jackson heard a crack and a crunch and felt something cold and wet smacking him on the back of the head. The SUV had beached itself on the snow and ice wall built by the snowplow.
02/20 Direct Link
My eyes are gone now. I have been too long at the tube this morning and curious little colored flies have carried them off as I danced on a current of grace moving in time across printed circuits sipping through xylem. Grace taught me to breathe, to sing, and to dance. I pause and listen to the soft rise of the earth. I pull raw air into my lungs and it sounds like Jazz. It is Mumbo Jumbo your favorite station for all the life you can gulp, It was grace taught me to breathe and taught me to sing.
02/21 Direct Link
In pause the ratchet of brain and bone, is listening for a breath larger than forest: for the soft rise of the Earth. This air pulled into my lungs tastes like music. It has me on my knees, pulling the soul from me. This is the Midnight Word Man on Mumbo Jumbo Jazz, your favorite tin and nail crystal radio station for all the words, all the music, the subliminal tap, all the self-absorbing fear spiraling up your spine ergots of the nation of isondalam all the poetry, all the time, all the gulp and gasp, holding on for youknowhow
02/22 Direct Link
While the bullets zip through the wall all the rioting arms and hands are thrown into the air like caps on graduation day I have spent too many days staring at things I never see, listening to things I never hear, and sinking into solemn rivers of ancient religious replica that bead up on my skin and run off before I rise from the mud. I am listening carefully. I hear the speckled breathing of the stones; I hear the singing of the trees and the great Halleluiah of billions of souls rasping this mantra to an idea of whobedey.
02/23 Direct Link
I can feel the soft rise of the earth waking each morning, I know the ripple moving across the horizon as the rise rolls on and around the globe. The perfume and stench, the calm and clatter of this life has infested my body and it sounds like music. It has me on my knees. has broken my heart, trampled me to sun-baked road kill and is wringing the soul out of me. This is the Midnight Mumbo Jumbo, my declaration, my pride, and my disgrace. This is my music, my dance, my life, and I am junk for it.
02/24 Direct Link
I got a notice from the library today that the CD's I have out are due. This works out since tonight is book discussion night so I can get everything done with one trip. Normally One of my students today asked me about "The Game of Thrones." He wanted to know whether I thought the book or the TV series was better. I had to give the nod to the TV series, not usual for me, but I really did feel the books were too long, going on forever in a repetitious manner...You can only eat so much boiled leather.
02/25 Direct Link
He seems to be lately in the business of getting lost. He goes home at night, sliding through the snow to his small apartment that has a lingering odor of other people's cooking. Not his cooking. He does not cook any more, either grabbing a pizza at the convenience store on the way home or stopping for fast food. For a while he ate at the little Greek Restaurant in the same mall as the department store he worked at, but he got embarrassed one night when the waitress sat down to talk to him. He hasn't been back since.
02/26 Direct Link
Her feet hurt tonight even though business had been slow. It was the shoes she decided. There was something wrong with the shoes. She had not worn these shoes much since she bought them because they seemed wrong. They were somehow harder or stronger than her feet, and every time she wore them her feet hurt while the shoes continued to show no wear at all. Now she paused a moment to look out the window into the dark. It was snowing again. She knew she couldn't stand there too long or Willis would ask her to clean off tables.
02/27 Direct Link
Willis closed his eyes momentarily, allowing himself the luxury of leaning against the cool concrete column near the register. The cement felt good against his forehead. He had been up too late the night before, watching old movies on TV and that combined with the long work shift was more than he was prepared for. He briefly considered that possibly he was getting old, but that just reminded him that he was still 38 and still just a manager at the restaurant. Of course, what else was he going to be? What did he think anyway? He opened his eyes.
02/28 Direct Link
Linda didn't know why she had agreed to go out with him in the first place. He was too old and he was a manager at a small Greek restaurant of all things. Talk about career limitations. But there was something about his small dark eyes or the way his left hand moved to smooth his hair. That was it. That was the gesture she kept remembering. And he did seem to have confidence. She didn't care for men who had no self-confidence. Who needed them? But 36, what would her parents say? She felt a small thrill considering this.