I enjoyed my day off, watching NFL Football. I have a serious internal argument about football, one that several friends share. We enjoy the athletic balance, physical displays, strategy and tactics while deploring the physical toll the sport charges. I also have grave concerns about it as a business or a sport. It's peculiar, falling into that realm of entertainment that reminds me of the Mongols playing polo with heads or the Romans enjoying a day of gladiator matches or pitting lions against humans. We spend billions on this sport/business while so many people starve or await medicine and supplies, we, the nation who purports to care. I mean, look how concerned we are about how well Qaddafi was treated in his final hours. And years ago, we made an effort to save Terry Shiavo when her husband decided to remove her from living assistance, even involving the POTUS and Senators. Meanwhile, legislators have stripped Planned Parenthood of funding to stop abortions. Surely these are all signs of how precious we hold life, right?
I follow auto racing and less so, motorcycle racing. Dan Wheldon crashed and died. So did Simoncelli. So here it is, sports and business trumps precious life. Our actions and support give us away. Here I sit, typing as a guilty hypocrit.
Why focus on just those? Entertainment is a huge industry. Look how cellphones have been marketed for the last few years, as connections to our entertainment. "Look what games you can play on your phone!" "Stay up to date with all your teams!" And they show people walking, shopping, tending their baby, at weddings, at the beach, in the shower, in the office, watching games, playing games, celebrating business deals by playing games.
Philip K. Dick once wrote a neat short story along these lines, how a group of survivors were coping. The adults were obsessed with dolls and the community the dolls inhabited. Meanwhile, the children worked on finding food and medicine.
In other non-writing thinking, I'm looking forward to visiting my Mother, sisters and other family members, seeing my grand-niece for the first time. Funny to think of little sister, eight years my junior, as a grandmother. The worse part of visiting with them is that these people like to eat. It's their sport and passion. When they're not eating, they talk about what they want to eat, where they want to eat, foods they want to make, and recipes they want to try. That means that my mortal enemy, weight, will gain the upper hand. It will be hand to hand street fighting during this visit.
I'm not excited about the flights. Delta, which I'm using for my travel, sent me a link to 'check in early online' so I can 'save time at the airport'. Meanwhile, they can't assign me seats for several flights yet because they don't know what seats are available. I made the reservations two weeks ago. How can I check in early and save time when I'll need to stand in line to get a seat?
The other irritation with their system was its lack of automation. They sent the reminder to me via my email, with my name, flight info, and 'Skymiles' number. I checked out the online check in to satisfy curiosity. None of these things were included on the page when I clicked on the link they provided. Yes, it's a small matter to enter these pieces of info but there is a disconnect to me when they provide this as a convenience service and then it's not that convenient. Seems more like marketing than anything else.
I will use inflight internet connections where available. I have been selecting books to take and will read but I also like surfing the net. I also plan to type and write. It really depends a lot on the seats, the trays, and the passenger beside me. That's my plans but we'll see.
The trees are turning out here in Oregon, and it's magic to see. Some trees are predictable. One I watch for each year leaps from green to gold in a day, brillant as sunshine reflected off a gold panel. Another looks like it's set on fire, an eternal scarlet flame. More prosaic, less imaginative trees shrug off their colors in sad surrender, giving up a leaf here, maybe a branch. Maybe they're not ready for change. A young tree opposite me here in the coffee shop is much like young Americans, mixing styles and colors in surprising ways. The tree is displaying a sharp gold branch on the upper right. Below it is a branch of integrated bronze, brown, red and green. Opposite on top are branches mottled with red and gold but down below, they're fully, solidly green. So cool. Someone knowledgeable about trees and their ways can educate me about the mechanism of color change. I 'know' the basics from science courses stored in my brain forty years ago. If I want to know more, I can 'Google' it, look it up on Wikipedia, or find books or websites on it. I don't want to know. I prefer a little ignorance, magic and whimsy.
The trees encourage me to think of aliens and how these aliens would change colors as they age, or as their health changes. Or I can incorporate it as a human fad. Perhaps natural skin hues are not an inherent right in some future corporate setting, but something that must be earned with service, money, or station. Perhaps prisoners are turned gray after three strikes, free to roam as marked people. I could call it, "The Gray People".
The Writer likes playing with these ideas. It's up to him to find the story.
Look at that street. There's a motionless alignment of trees. None are alike. One has lemon and green leaves, another is solid green still, two others are crimson striated with dark green, and many more have adopted other shades and hues.
They could almost be people. Let's put them in shoulder pads and helmets and see what games they'll play.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com