A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003 :::
Things You Should Not Allow to Happen

You get off your second job and go for a quick drink while you edit something you wish to send to an old mentor and friend. You are sitting with another old friend who is taking a break from similar editing tasks by reading the paper and watching the Series. The old mentor makes a surprise appearance at said bar, and you quickly hide the uncorrected papers from his prying eyes. He in fact respects your opinions and is genuinely interested, but you respect him enough to notshow him unedited stuff. You discuss Iraq at length and life in bits and snatches until the other friend offers to buy you a third glass of wine in a gesture of appreciation for your help a few days ago. The mentor restricts himself to one beer and some chowder.

Accepting said offer, a big mistake.

It is soon 12:30 AM and the staff is pressing you to leave. Two of the servers, a young man and a young lady, clearly have their minds on what to do after they get off, and are actually sitting at the bar as if they were customers, because you and your friends are the only customers left and everybody knows everybody else. Yet another friend has shown up, and is talking about hitting the pool hall, which you hem and haw about doing and finally leave everyone. But, in the end, you succumb for a few minutes, although none of your friends is there. You realize the bus is about to come. You dash out, and spend 20 minutes at the bus stop until you finally admit that the last bus has come way too early and you are stranded on a street corner at 1:00. And that you have no cash, as your check card needed to be replaced so you ordered a new one, but you forgot to cash a check that afternoon.

So you head back to the pool hall to write a check. One other young friend is busily regaling a young lady with stories of his life overseas, and you are old enough to know that you should not even bother saying, "hi." While you are deciding what to do, the bartender at the pool hall buys you what is now your fifth glass of wine. Another young friend, a bumptious but brilliant undergrad, suddenly appears and--with the amused collusion of the bar tender-- tries to buy you a sixth. You are at least in possession of enough common sense to acknowledge that what the strapping young man could shrug off in the morning would be your complete undoing. He of course thinks you are being boring.

With the ten dollars you cadge from yet another old friend, you take a wildly overpriced taxi ride home. DC is the only major city that still uses a "zone system," and in the space of the few blocks to your home you cross two full zones. As you climb into bed, you are stunned to realize it is 2:45. The alarm rings at the usual appointed hour, and you offer a feeble Te Deum when you realize that class does not start until 12:30 and you readjust the alarm and give yourself 3 more hours.

And when you finally wake up you admit that acting like you are 23 is an immense amount of fun, but it is best left to the 23-year-olds. And while one of the benefits of being a middle-aged bachelor is having a fair number of 23-year-old friends, you vow to never, ever again let them set the pace.

In happy news, a major group of investors in Kodak is contemplating a full challenge to a decision by the current management of the venerable film manufacturer to increase its production of digital photo equipment and slowly lessen its film operation. Regular readers know that A Mind That Suits is an immense fan of film, and of Kodak products in particular, and until digital reproduction of the color black is more "saturated," he will not be happy. But, while he admires the pluck and determination of the dissident stockholders, he has to admit he is not sure how much longer film will be with us.

This week brings the "power" issue of Enterntainment Weekly. People are usually surprised that A Mind That Suits is a regular reader of such a publication, but he is. It packs more useful information about pop culture into the fewest pages, and is very well written.

In addition to its usual list of the 101 most powerful people in Tinsel Town, it also includes its list of people who are "falling," where, as usual, Madonna makes an appearance when she is not on the positive list. Ms. Ciccone has remade herself successfully so many times, one doubts you can count her out. A Mind That Suits rarely finds himself pulling for her, but he often finds himself astounded at her unique combination of smarts and determination.

In her "negatives" this year, one finds her first children's book, The English Roses, which was launched with a million-copy press run in some remarkable number of languages. It was universally panned as obvious and pedantic, which is usually the result when people who are willing to have themselves photographed having sex decide to get serious. Madonna said that, in reading with her children, she had been upset that "there was nothing out there" that taught any values. This is an inaccurate assessment of the market, as A Mind That Suits constantly runs into children's literature written to satisfy the adults. Nonetheless, it is easy to see how much a well-traveled lady such as Madonna has to teach young girls.

Such as the difference between a slut and a...

Horrible thing, an aging sex kitten who does not realize her time is past, but Madonna in fact seems to have quite a few miles left in her. It will be interesting, if not exactly heartening, to see what she does.

Proud that he did not even have an intimation of a hangover, A Mind That Suits wished ys you allthe best

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:11 PM



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