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Where is Southern Star?

Sitting in my room at the Hilton Garden Inn on Chestnut Street in downtown (uptown?) Chattanooga, doing email – kind of, as the Complimentary High Speed Internet Access goes in and out and becomes The Highly Infrequent and Often Inconvenient Internet Belch, and then the hotel-provided ethernet cable gets stuck in my laptop’s port because a piece of it is broken and it won’t come out even when I try to jimmie it out with the corner of my credit-card-room-key – and watching CNN, getting ready for “24” on FOX at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, 8 o’clock Central, because if you want a kick-ass show you better turn on FOX to watch government agents basically shred the Patriot Act in order to keep us safe from MiddleEasternChechnyanRussianChinese bastard slime bags… I watch Kirin Chetry ask some financial experts who are advising low-income viewers who get caught in mortgage schemes that promise jumbo mortgages on huge houses for the Average Joe and tell them to refinance in five years sure sure sure, and Kirin says, “Can the government monitor stupidity and ignorance, or not?” Continue reading

The Thousand-Yard Stare

Rising at 4:30 a.m. to get the plane back to Boston was not difficult. I went to bed at eight after reading Les Mis for half an hour and told myself it really was 11 p.m., as I had had less than 36 hours to adjust to the time difference between Massachusetts and California. And as I closed my eyes and let myself drift, I told myself, I am really getting up at 7:30 tomorrow morning, almost like sleeping in, if you will. Continue reading