bunt sign

Saturday, December 15, 2001

While walking to the post office this morning, a few thoughts crossed my mind. This is unusual, because usually some musical riff (Ho ho ho, who wouldn't go) is whistling through my brain, jamming all radar signals. The first thing that came to me, that it's even more dangerous walking than driving (duh...hey!), probably opened the door for other ideas. It gave a little jolt to the flatline upstairs.

Uh, don't expect anything profound. I was dodging cars while pondering how much I dislike Saturday football games almost as much as I don't like those Thursday night games that I never watch. (Hmmm, let's see, Survivor, Friends or the Jaguars and the Panthers...) But I haven't been paying much attention to the Sunday night games, either, and Monday Night Football lost its appeal a few years back. I'm sure there's a reason they don't play all the games on Sunday afternoon, but that's the only time I can be enticed to watch.

Someone — I'm not sure if it was CNN or the CIA, but what's the diff, right? — claims to have heard bin Laden's voice coming over the radio out of the Tora Bora caves. I wonder what he was saying...

"What's that noise? Do you hear something?"

It occurs to me that I have every right to dislike George W. Bush, whom I didn't vote for and who wasn't elected by a majority of voters, because I despise the governor of California, Gray Davis, whom I did vote for and who was elected in the accepted fashion. It's that kind of rationalization disguised as logic that makes politics so interesting.

After picking up the paper at the post office, I glanced at the headlines on the walk back. What probably seemed like a good idea in Berkeley, putting orange flags at busy intersections for people to wave as they walk across the street, doesn't seem to be working as planned. The flags have been in place for a few days, and yesterday a woman carrying one of them was hit in the crosswalk by a Jeep.

Well, besides reinforcing my original thought that walking is dangerous, this story reinforces my admiration for Berkeley, a city that goes its own way and cares little about anything so mundane as what everyone else thinks. In these times when polls show a frightening near-unanimity of public opinion on government policy, we can always count on Berkeley to be the first place to looks for cracks in the brick wall. Or cracks of some kind, anyway.

all lit up

Enough fooling around.

As I walked along, I tried to remember childhood Christmases, and I was dismayed that I couldn't come up with any warm memories like the ones I see in TV movies. I think the reason the Christmas of my youth seems like a long, boring day when kids had to stay out of the way of the adults is that we opened our presents on Christmas Eve. We didn't wait for Santa Claus, we didn't hang stockings, and we didn't have any reason to get up at the crack of dawn. I'm not sure how these memories (which may or may not be accurate, I'm not even sure of that) affect how I feel about Christmas now. In some ways it's still a day when I'm on edge, trying to stay out of the way.

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One year ago: Sloshing Toward Bethlehem

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