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small cyan square Long phone chat with D last night. Topics of discussion included recent trips we've made, updates on the movements of people we know (gossip?), and holiday gifts. She was appalled at the content and detail of the list provided by my brother J: gift suggestions for his two-year-old twins. She wondered if such lists were a family tradition and I allowed as to how they are, and I don't find the custom at all outrageous. I tried to describe relevant "Peanuts" cartoons from the dim past which featured "Get Lists" and "Give Lists", but was only partially successful.

small red square The schedule for my holiday trip back east is filling up - I'll be inside the Beltway for a week. Made an appointment with the office there of one of my brother H's oldest chums, I guy I've know myself since grade school - he was in our Scout troop. Now he's an opthmologist and the prescription he wrote up for me, for these stylish new glasses, just ain't right - perhaps my eyes went south after I saw him (true, I didn't get the new specs until more'n a year after I saw him) but it'll be much more fun if I can catch him in an error. The result might be his casual comment to the women in his front office which makes their concluding remark to me "No charge for this visit" (as has happened about half the times I've seen him professionally).

small green square For whatever reason just now I thought of that 1970 Boy Scout camping trip along the C & O canal towpath, when we got so spread out that I found myself hiking alone. Since it was so engrossing I extracted the current book <1> from my back-pack and proceeded to try reading it while walking along, but the attempt wasn't all that successful. I remember hiking past very small towns in northwest Maryland that frosty morning - I can still picture them.

small yellow square According to Salon's "Media Circus" column, Bret Easton Ellis holds forth on the Teletubbies in the new issue of "Gear" magazine:

The soothing tones, the eerie quiet, the New Agey vibe, the immaculate surfaces, everything so controlled and antiseptic, a world where even the spontaneous seems rehearsed, the sheer humorlessness of it all is what makes Teletubbies so creepy and emblematic of the new mothers and fathers of my generation.
As far as I'm concerned, after American Psycho, Ellis shouldn't be given much airplay. Of course I only read bits of that nasty; but I did finish his first book, Less Than Zero, when I finished I flung it across the room in disgust. However... although I have yet to experience a Teletubbies program, after reading this I'm strangely intrigued.

small blue square Although I now consider my previous commentary on other people's web-journals to be something I've transcended (since I dislike reading similar "meta" stuff in the few other journals I'm following) I'm making an exception and breaking the silence to mention Justin - his site is just so rich! Check it out - more than just a journal. That link is good, although his pointer at seems to be busted.

small violet square A few words about our national political mess. Listening to the public radio station providing "gavel-to-gavel coverage" has been mostly annoying, the gas from those Republicans provokes such anger. Just shut up! A refreshing voice of reason stands out - Maxine Waters, of all people. Prior to this my reaction to the representative from South-Central has been mostly irritation but in this context I think she's great!

C & O - Chesapeake and Ohio
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<1> The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein