The Daily Double
Two posts today, one on cancer and the other, this.
BTW: You must have noticed by now that I’ll be journaling my cancer experience pretty much daily from now until — please, please, please! — I’m declared cancer-free. In fact, I’m charging up the battery in my camera as we speak so I can bring you images of the people who will care for me, the machine that’ll nuke me, and things like the mask I’ll have to wear under the beam, etc. (Hey, I’d even show you a picture of my neck where the tumor is but it’s too small to be picked up by the camera; it’s about the size of a black olive pit.) The cancer journal posts will always be entitled Malignant while these screeds will continue to be called Hot Air. So if the very idea of cancer freaks you out, skip the Malignant posts but keep reading H.A., O.K.?
A Temporary Back Office
Today I’m writing at a new coffee joint, Crumble, in the little shops plaza at the Renwick development. My normal (new-ish) headquarters, Hopscotch, over on the B-line Trail at Dodds St., is closed this week for construction. Owners Jane and Jeff are expanding into the next storefront space so that’ll be a great boon for those looking to park their fannies in the joint.
Crumble is clean, bright, and neat. The music is so unobtrusive as to be nearly inaudible. It’s half-filled with healthy folks speaking in hushed tones. The coffee mugs are spotless, the silverware shiny. The baristas are as civilized and helpful as hotel concierges. Plus, they don’t appear prone to want to foment civil insurrection.
Not Dank And Dark At All — How Depressing!
In short, the joint is hellish. Not my idea of a coffeehouse at all. The first indication I got that this place’d be so radically different came when I was walking up from the convenient, ample parking lot toward the front door. A guy driving a fancy luxury Audi pulled up in front of the place in a clearly marked no parking zone (there are signs all around and huge cross-hatching painted on the pavement), turned his hot rod off, lazily exited it, and strolled in as if he had all the time in the world and none of the guilt.
Anyway, the coffee is good, I had a terrific pear and honey muffin, and the big window next to me is affording me the opportunity to sunbathe in the middle of winter. So there’s good and bad here.
Somehow, I hope, I’ll be able to get work done at this place for the time being.
Oregon’s Bird Cage
If the FBI and the rest of the US Justice Department hadn’t gone all gun crazy at Ruby Ridge in Idaho and the David Koresh compound at Waco, Texas in the early 1990s, all these Bundy loons and their ilk making brat-ish trouble in Oregon would have been locked up where they belong long ago.
Ryan Bundy, Playing Cowboys & Indians
[Image: Rebecca Boone/AP]
But since the gov’t decided to attack the Branch Davidian encampment with a fire-spewing tank resulting in the deaths of some 76 humans including a bunch of kids who hadn’t yet developed into the psychotics their elders already were, and FBI snipers picked off Christian fundamentalist and survivalist Randy Weaver’s wife and son, the G-men have been unduly shy in dealing with white maniacs.
Hell, one white maniac blew up an entire goddamned federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 in revenge for the Koresh and Weaver debacles. The rest of separatist militia nation has come together and multiplied like noxious weeds since that time. The election of Barack Obama, natch, helped push this madman movement along.
I don’t know how strong or threatening these survivalists and anti-government types are but the US suffered two horrible PR blows in a row in Waco and Ruby Ridge. And gov’t agencies fear bad PR far more than they fear domestic terrorism.
The last thing the feds wanted to do was get into a gunfight at the Bundy ranch and they sure as hell ain’t gonna get into a shootin’ war over a bird sanctuary in the dead of winter now.
BTW: the Waco and Ruby Ridge fiascoes ought to be ample evidence that you just can’t go bombing and shooting your problems away, as many are suggesting we do to ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
Hey, IDK if you’ve happened upon Linda Oblack’s regular and compelling “Goings On At My Place” Facebook posts but, man, this stuff is goo-o-o-od.
I keep telling her she ought to start her own website and make regular posts. Linda was an editor over at Indiana University Press until she retired a couple of years ago. Her writing is at least equal to — and in many cases, superior to — the best of the publishing house’s stable of authors. Sorry, Michael Martone, but you’ve got competition, baby.
Join me in haranguing her until she comes around to this blogging racket, okay?