It’s good to be around Chris again.
Chris: It doesn’t do that.
Dan: It must. Illustrator must be able to do it, we just haven’t found the right way yet.
[Chris regards Dan skeptically.]
Dan: It’s like, we’re Superman, and we haven’t thrown the right crystal out into the deep snow, and instead of getting the Fortress of Solitude, we keep getting the Starbucks of Solitude.
Dan: “Iced Mochaccino?” “NO!”
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When I left for Rice the previous fall, my parents left as well, moving from Maryland (our home of thirteen years or so) to Augusta, Maine.
Despite being the seat of state government, Augusta is a tiny, tiny town. (It is utterly dwarfed by its southern cousin, Portland.) I had spent a few days there for the Thanksgiving break, but the winter recess was my first real sojourn in the area.
I didn’t know anyone in town, of course, and had precious little to keep me occupied. I took to staying up very late, in a room on the sub-ground floor (the lot sloped down away from the street out front), nominally “Dan’s room” but more of a computer room and office.
I would sit at my mom’s drafting table, perched on a high stool, smudging graphite and ink all over my hands, late into the cold Maine night. I tried desperately to reconnect the wires and terminals in my brain that had allowed me to part with my pride and perfectionism long enough to create Captain Jim in high school; I had so many ideas, so many new stories to tell, so many new shapes and forms to commit to paper. I just wanted to unclench and let it all escape from the electrons in my brain, to be reborn as carbon atoms lodged in an angry sea of bleached cellulose fibers. I always found this bizarre process came more readily in the middle of the night.
The night in Maine is as quiet as it is cold, however. A dry, bony silence wrapped the house that wasn’t home, crushing my ears like wind chill. And so I turned on the radio.
It’s tough to find good radio in the Augusta market; stations are predominantly country and religious. I found myself returning to two stations: WCYI/WCYY broadcasting out of Lewiston-Auburn, and WMEH, Maine Public Radio. MPR (not to be confused with Minnesota Public Radio, also excellent of course) carried some NPR programs, some PRI programming, and classical music.
And, in the middle of the night, when college freshmen may be trying desperately to keep themselves awake (not, perhaps, yet having discovered the sweet taste of coffee) to try to seize the slow rhythm of those precious alpha brain waves, harnessing their mysterious power for both good and evil, before sleep inevitably conquers all … that is when Hearts of Space came on.
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[17:32] * pixelknave isn’t really bitter.
[17:33] <dsandler> What, because you’ve been working on the same damnproject for two years, and despite the fact that you hate it, you feel instinctively compelled to defend it, mostly to defend all the hours of your life that are gone down that hole?
[17:33] <dsandler> I can understand that.
[17:33] <dsandler> I mean, if you WERE bitter.
marcone points out a Ha’aretz article:
Bush said: “God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”
A lot of other bloggers have already commented at length so I’ll just do the Jon Stewart thing and stare, dumbstruck, at the audience.