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Sunday, September 2, 2001

When Sunday is the middle day of a three-day weekend, it stops being that depressing day just before you go back to work, and becomes a free day, like the one halfway through your vacation, when you're so perfectly relaxed because you don't have to think about anything except relaxing and enjoying yourself.

Okay, it isn't quite that good, but it's still better than a regular Sunday, and almost as good as a regular Saturday. So what did I do with this gift? I used it to catch up around the house. I broke down the cardboard boxes cluttering my room so they can be recycled (and so they won't clutter up my room). I moved some boxes that were in the way around, and now they're not quite out of the way but slightly less in the way. I did some extra watering and weeding. And I caught up on almost a week of newspaper reading.

I saw getting several days behind reading the newspaper as an opportunity. I mean, here's a source of fresh ideas, right? There must be something in each day's paper that I could comment on, and then put it all together and call it an entry. Instead, I found myself at a loss for inspiration. Some examples:

Tuesday: A man kills his parents so that he and his pregnant bride can move into their house. I think that's really bad. But I bet it's happened in some form in every society since the beginning of time. It seems such an ancient kind of crime that it's almost mythic. An opera could be written about such deeds. If it happens more now than in the past, it's because there are more people now, and not as much room to put them. But it's still a rotten thing to do.

Wednesday: Governor Davis is trying to weaken the privacy bill pending in the state legislature. Here's a surprise. The politician whose greatest talent is collecting campaign contributions is giving concessions to big business, at the expense of private citizens. He wants to revise the bill so that banks and insurance companies will be allowed to sell its customers' financial information to telemarketers. I'm ashamed that I ever voted for this guy, and I promise I never will again. No politician has ever disappointed me as much.

Thursday: Safeway is in negotiations with its employees, trying to avert a strike. I'm all for labor rights, but I find it hard to sympathize with anyone who's making more per hour than I am. I don't begrudge supermarket cashiers whatever they can get, but I don't feel particularly sorry for them. Not when preschool teachers (for example) are paid barely above minimum wage.

Friday: The California Supreme Court says that landlords can prevent tenants from distributing leaflets and newsletters. Once again, property rights are found to be more significant than freedom of speech. Soon you will be able to say anything you want, as long as nobody can hear you.

Saturday: The team that represented the Bronx in the Little League World Series forfeits all its games because it used an overage player. A fourteen-year-old who dominated the twelve-year-olds he competed against was a hero until a forged birth certificate was uncovered. Not only that, but the kid didn't go to school all year (so at least there was no reason to change the grades on his report card). There must be money involved. Otherwise, what's the point? This is unbelievably despicable exploitation of children.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these kids' games are overexposed. Preteen athletes should not be interviewed on national television and asked how it feels to win (or lose). They shouldn't be exploited for ratings at all. It's wonderful that kids from all over the world come to Williamsport every year to play baseball. Let them play, but leave them alone. If there's less airtime, maybe less emphasis will be placed on winning and more on things like sportsmanship and honesty.

white oleander

This bush at the corner of my driveway has never looked quite as good as it does right now.

Even with an extra day wedged into the middle of the weekend, there's still work to be done. Tomorrow could be just another Monday, with the mitigating benefits that (a) I can sleep later, and (2) the phone won't be jangling in that irritating Monday-type way. I could really get into these three-day weekends, you know?

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