18 August 2010

Speaking of Detritus

Got an extra million lying around? You could be the proud owner of this. As described on eBay: "This is the toilet that was personally owned AND used by J.D. Salinger for many years! It sat in his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, and was installed in the 'new wing' of his house.

When he died, his wife inherited all of his manuscripts with plans to eventually release some of them! Who knows how many of these stories were thought up and written while Salinger sat on this throne!"

Apparently, for $1 million you have to supply your own seat. Bummer.


Anecdote: Swear to god this is true: When we bought our first apartment in Manhattan, we had three cats. It was so small and their boxes smelled awful. We taught two of them to use the toilet like the above pic—there are kits out there! It wasn't 100% successful, but we didn't have to clean out the boxes as much. They never learned to flush, though.


Can we talk about global warming now? I mean, I know that a winter snowstorm or two in the I-95 corridor means it's all a hoax, but still... Seriously, a tutorial on the proper uses of inductive reasoning seems to be in order here.

This has been the hottest summer ever here in the ATL. You might not believe it, but because we're at about 1000 ft elevation, we usually don't have many 95°+ days of a normal summer here. Low-lying areas—below what we call the 'gnat line'—are a different matter altogether. This year, I would wager, we've had more than 40—beginning in May. (Of course, this calls for an essay on the absolute centrality of (1) refrigeration and ice, and (2) air conditioning in the development of the Sunny South.)


Are we a nation of loners?

"You want a social life, with friends.
A passionate love life and as well
To work hard every day. What’s true
Is of these three you may have two." Kenneth Koch

I often wonder what Facebook has done to the notion of 'friend'.

Here's an anecdote: When Wisdaughter recently got her college roommate assignment, she decided to "Facebook stalk" her—i.e., find out a little about her. To her shock and dismay, the roommates did not have a Facebook page. "Daddy, I'm worried," she said. "There must be something wrong with her." The funny thing is: I had the same thought. That generation is totally tied into the social networking thing in a way most of us just don't get. Even I recognize that.


Related: Email and wristwatches: relics of a recent past?

Anecdote: On our recent trip to BVI, I sat on the last row of the plane with my kids. Somehow Wisdoc managed to get a seat farther up. They were completely agog when I told them about how, at the time of my first international flight (to Mexico) just after college graduation, you could smoke cigarettes in the back of the airplane after takeoff. They thought I was lying. "What about your clothes? Didn't you smell like smoke when you got off?" Duh.

Then I told them about how at my high school (on Tobacco Road in NC, naturally) there were not one but two separate smoking areas where over-16 boys (usually) could smoke cigarettes at lunch and between classes. They looked at me like they used to look at the fossils at the Natural History Museum and went back to watching 'The Office' on their iPod touches.


Yesterday I went to an osteopath. I threw my back out while working out several months ago. My hip and lower back were misaligned. He righted me pretty well the first time. This was a follow-up visit to tweak the last 10% stiffness. He performed what I come to find out is "craniosacral therapy". Not sure, as a rationalist and a sceptic, I fully buy in to its validity w/r/t to all it claims to do and the way it claims to do it, but I walked out of there feeling great—and no longer injured and misaligned.

Here's the deal: the theory is that somehow by adjusting the skull in relation to the brain it releases either the body's natural endorphins or cannabinoids. Now I'm a runner, so I know from endorphins, and what I felt after it was over was not like any endorphin rush I've ever had. That's similar to heroin. I felt completely stoned: like I was smoking weed or tripping: euphoric, slightly disoriented, mellow, with a taint of paranoia (mental alertness). I can't say I've had that feeling for decades. No more 10%.

I want to find out more about how those natural cannabinoids work!


I had planned before I went to sleep late last night ('cause I saw it on my new iPod Touch that the fam gave me for my birthday) to blog about this, but this morning I saw that BDR has it too—so credit for the scoop. Call it serendipity. Early to rise, etc., etc.

If I read the data correctly, it only shows the changes in the percentages of use; it does not show increases in the actual totals. That is to say, there may in fact be more traffic on the "World Wide Web" now than in 1990, but the proportion of that traffic to other Web functions is considerably less now.

Still, I guess that makes this poor little blog what it's really always been: just another piece of cultural litter(-acy).



1 comment:

Jerome Doolittle said...

Hi, Jim. Couldn't find any contact info on your site, but I imagine this will get to you. Thanks for your comment on Bad Attitudes. I've just added you to our blogroll, and hope it gets you a hit or two. Best, Jerry Doolittle