Maine

I’m in Maine for the next couple of days, flew in on Christmas on a little commuter plane that bounced around over the bumpy skies of New England. It’s Sunday and there is rain falling on a layer of snow and the wind blowing gusts of rain/snow across the road. I’m driving a rented Hyundai Sonata and listening to Neko Case singing about rain in California. The irony (if it’s really irony) is not lost on me.

Tomorrow I have to help my brother sprinkle calcium on the ice in his driveway. It creates little air pockets and breaks up the ice, then we have to take shovels and hack the ice to bits to fully remove it.  Ah, Maine, what a weird and wacky winter wonderland you are.

People who complain about not having snow in L.A should take note.

We’re headed over to Bangor in the morning (pronounced locally, “Bang-Er”, make up your own joke for this one). I’m going to stop by Steven King’s house and ask him to share his literary secrets with me, how can one man be so prolific? And is it because of some sort of black magic, and if so, can I borrow a bottle? I’m guessing he’ll stick the dogs on me instead.

New Year’s is coming and I’ll be back in L.A. for the celebrations: the countdown, champagne popping, noise-makers, Auld Lang Syne! The twentydime is upon us and I know, I just feel it in my optimist bones, that this is the year I make it to South East Asia, have a piece published, and finally finish Infinite Jest (to be honest, I’ll be pleased if just one of those goals is accomplished).

People have rated the 2000’s as the worst decade of the last century. I have to disagree. 2000 saw the rise of DIY ethos (but more importantly, capabilities) and new technologies that allow some commoner like me to put my thoughts out there for the world to decide whether they’re noble, creepy, or pointless. (I’m usually shooting for all three at once) We can choose what we want to watch — when we want to watch it. We can call Brazil without costing an arm and a leg. We can answer our own trivia questions by looking them up on the Internet, without needing 30 pounds of encyclopedias flanking an entire wall in your den.

Yes, War, the Economy, Environmental Degradation are all terribly depressing facets of the 00’s, but every decade saw it’s share of bullshit, it just used to be easier to escape the bad news — now you’re inundated with images and opinions 24/7 wherever you roam. Fox News is on in the Jiffy Lube waiting room, you go to your email and before it is a news blurb about an iceberg in Antarctica the size of Delaware that had broken off and is floating towards Australia. You stumble into a bar bathroom and over the urinal is an advertisement for Liquid soap for men that promises “magnetic feremones” are injected into the lather. (I know that doesn’t have anything to do with the Economy, Environmental Degradation, or War, I just find that kind of cheesy, pathetic advertising aimed at horny young men to be awfully sad and crass, whoever would buy that must be pathetically gullible — and it doesn’t work either, I’ve come to find, $5 down the drain. Literally. Ha!)

I have three more days of this decade to make something good come out of it. Yes, Bangor may not be Thailand or Cambodia, but it’ll have to do for now. Mr. King, please warm up some coffee, I’m on my way.

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