Last month was the worst month for traffic on this blog since I started doing this. I don’t know why that is, and I’m trying not to dwell on it. One thing I will note is that the number of page views per visitor is far too close to one for my liking. People shouldn’t just glance at one or two posts, then navigate away. They should stick around and read until they’re done.
I think I’m going to have to get a new computer. At the moment, I can’t even get it to start up. On the rare occasion that it does boot up, it takes over an hour to do so. I did manage to get it started on installing the new operating system (for which I paid almost $100), but then it tried to restart, and couldn’t, because some file is corrupted, and no matter how many times I try or what mode I use in booting it up (standard or safe, it makes no difference), it just brings me back to the same scene. The mind reels. The I.T. guys told me I should have had virus protection software. But would even that have stopped the THIRTEEN trojans that they found on my computer? And why was thirteen the magic number, anyway? Twelve trojans? Sure, we can keep working. But thirteen? Get outta here! By way of analogy, this is kind of like a guy who doesn’t brush his teeth but who eats no sugar going to the dentist and finding out that he has thirteen cavities. Even for a guy who doesn’t brush, that’s a lot.
I got very upset when my computer first started acting up. In fact, I grabbed my mouse and smashed it into the table that I use as a desk. I was expecting the mouse to break, but instead, the table did. It was like something out of a Charlie Chaplin movie. The mouse still works perfectly. Now I have to get a new table. That’s neither difficult nor expensive, just inconvenient.
In case you can’t tell, this past week or two has not been pleasant. I went to the laundromat Sunday night. It was packed, as would be expected at such a time. I noticed that three washing machines had clothes inside, but were not in use. I waited around a few minutes. An Asian lady sitting nearby told me that they had been unattended for at least ten minutes. So I said, fuck it, I’m using the machines. I was loading my clothes in them when an obnoxious black woman with an accent I couldn’t place entered and demanded to know what was going on. Apparently, she had stepped out to get some detergent. I could have just said, “You snooze, you lose”, but I decided to be a nice guy and let her have the machines back anyway. Then, upon discovering that I had forgotten my detergent as well, I went back to get it. Upon returning to the laundromat, I discovered that she was still making a stink out of the misunderstanding. An employee asked me what was going on. I told him. I worried that he was going to take the side of the party who was whining like a shrew and acting like leaving her clothes unattended in a crowded laundromat is as good as marking territory, but the employee told me it was fine, and when my clothes were washed, I could dry them for free. But he went home before I was done washing my clothes, and the other employees didn’t know about the incident, so they just said maybe next time, I can dry my clothes for free. By then, everyone except me will have forgotten about it. You can tell a lot about someone by how they handle mundane bullshit like this. I was so angry I threw some change on the floor (figuring I was already wasting money by paying for the dryer, so what the hell), and left a sock with a hole in it on the floor instead of throwing it away. Petty rebellion, you could call it. You can tell a lot about someone by how they handle mundane bullshit like this.
I applied for a job yesterday for which I am not remotely qualified. There is no way that the ACLU will hire me for this position. The best I can hope for is that they will decide I’m probably qualified for something else, and offer me that job. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
I’m going to switch gears now and talk about one of my favorite films of the past few years. Terence Malick is not everyone’s cup of tea. His films are dreamlike and philosophical, often featuring little in the way of conventional plot and character development. I would love to see SNL or one of those sketch comedy shows parody him, as you could do a lot with a guy whose movies basically consist of people wondering through nature while talking in voice-over about life, the universe, and everything. (Fun fact: Tommy Chong actually asked him to direct a Cheech & Chong film. Malick politely declined.) But The Tree of Life fucking knocked me flat all the same. It’s the sort of dazzlingly ambitious film that should be seen by everyone with a serious interest in cinema. (Roger Ebert said that it was like a form of prayer.) Love him or hate him, Malick is an original.
It was all I could do not to spit on the laundromat’s floor last night. I just felt like I deserved some kind of reward for everything I’d gone through. I also pounded on my table with a hammer until the head broke off, figuring that the table was already broken, so why not? Surprisingly, this did not cause my computer to start working again.
There’s more to come, folks. This one’s a two-parter.