Leading a small lifeThere is a moment in You’ve got mail when Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) muses “I lead a small life”. I know whereof you speak, lady. That’s what I am doing – leading a small life. I am ensconced in a brick house in the middle of the prairie. It is a beautiful house and it has beautiful grounds. It is notably far from anywhere. The nearest movie theater is 50 miles away. The nearest Barnes and Noble is 190 miles away. I won’t say that I live in the middle of nowhere but nowhere is only ten miles down the road.
What am I doing here, you ask? That’s simple: I grew up here. I helped build this house. My mother is in a nursing home in a nearby town. I am living here, taking care of her affairs and her house. Life here is not without its compensations. I am not divorced from the outside world; I have the internet and hence am a member of the great electronic community. There are deer, rabbits, and pheasants in my back yard. I have the several thousands of books that I have accumulated in a lifetime of random reading. Still and all, I lead a small life.
It has its compensations. Life here is quite inexpensive. I am, ahem, officially retired. Not only do I collect social security, I can live on it comfortably. Yes, children, I have investments. They accumulate against the day I am free to live a larger life. Please, dear reader, work hard and pay large sums of money into the social security fund. I will be no end of grateful.
As some of my more perceptive readers may have noticed there was an election in November of the year 2000 in the good old US of A. The result was better than possibly could be expected; neither Bush nor Gore won the election. Unfortunately people could not leave well enough alone. They had to keep fiddling until Bush won the election by a 5 to 4 vote of the Supreme Court.
The sweetest thing about the imbroglio was the hysteria of the liberals. They give good whine. Beyond that there is little to cheer about. Bush promises to be our greatest president since Herbert Hoover. I have every confidence that Bush will do better than people expect – after all, no one can be that bad. I hope.
The upside is that settling the election meant that the talking heads had something else to talk about. A month of dissecting the electoral incompetence of Florida was 29 days too many.
It is well known that the best men are to be found in South Dakota; a woman is fortunate to get a South Dakota man. You might suppose that the state would be swamped with women from other states seeking the cream of the crop. It is not so. Once upon a time it was but that was before women got the vote. Once the South Dakota ladies got the vote they pushed through legislation establishing checkpoints at the borders to turn away desperate lust-crazed beauties.
One of my little projects that I am engaged in while marking time in the tedium of eternity is the reincarnation game. This is a collection of several hundred web pages (541 at the moment but the number is regularly increasing.) The general notion is that you live life after life, moving around the great circle of time. In each life you are offered choices; you gain or lose karma depending on the choices you make. It is set in a mythical Empire which is vaguely Chinese.
How do you win? The whole point is that you don’t win. Winning at the game of life is a very Western conception. Reincarnation means that you are stuck in this world forever, moving around the great wheel of time in an endless journey of lives. Actually you can get off by attaining enlightenment. It is not easy; you have to make all of the right choices in a narrow thread of lives.
Pointless? Perhaps; it is an exercise in metafiction. It is definitely addictive.
The Darwin Awards still haven’t been updated. Have no fear, it
will happen. The Varinoma Press project
is on hold. June and July of 2000 probably will not happen. It’s a
pity that the same can’t be said of November.
This page was last updated January 23, 2001.