Monday, June 19, 2006

The Girl from Frisco, or How I Spent My (Short) Summer Vacation

The days grow longer still …

I took a short vacation. Didn’t go anywhere. Couldn’t. The money’s not there. Diane badly needs knee surgery and we’re saving up for the $700 co-pay.

The insurance company calls it elective surgery. But in truth, she’s in great pain and if she doesn’t have the surgery soon she’ll be stuck with a permanent disability.

I guess by “elective,” they mean she could elect to be crippled if she preferred.

I hate insurance companies ...

I took a short vacation. Needed some time away from my day job to take care of some personal business. Also thought I would use that time blogging, working on my webcast, and drawing, but ended up taking a vacation from those things as well.

Seems that all I want to do is sit in my studio, drinking limeade, listening to exotica music, and reading old paperback novels. Right now I’m reading The Girl from Frisco by William Heuman.

The only times I go outside are in the mornings when I walk across the street to buy a cup of Dark Magic coffee at the Tiger Mart and in the afternoons when Diane and I swim. Swimming is the only physical activity Diane can enjoy without further damaging her knee, and even then she has to be careful.

When we come back from swimming, I have an exercise buzz, which I occasionally enhance by splashing a little gin in my limeade. But that’s all, just a splash and only a little. I’m drinking less alcohol these days, and feeling better in body and mind. Also losing weight. Wish I'd done this a lot sooner.

The Austin Chronicle will publish a special tribute to my late friend Jack Jackson in a few weeks. This is the same paper that several years ago published a review of Jack’s book Lost Cause in which he was wrongly called a racist. (See last week’s blog entry.)

Anyway, they asked me to contribute to the tribute. They want a short text piece and an illustration. They want to make amends to Jack’s memory by publishing this tribute, and I’m happy to be a part of any tribute to Jack. So I said I would.

Good old Jack.

Jack’s body was found in a cemetery in Stockdale where his parents are buried. His death is being investigated as a suicide. All I know is that he had been suffering from an extended illness. I figure the illness got to be too much for him.

That's the thing I couldn’t bring myself to write in last week’s blog entry. Now I’ve written it. And now I can move on.

I took a short vacation. But I did not take a vacation from the news. I’ve been reading the news every day. I read about the Supreme Court legalizing “no-knock” searches. I read about the suicides at Gitmo—suicides characterized by the Fourth Reich as some sort of terrorist attack on der Homeland. I read about ongoing atrocities in Iraq. I read about the latest sewage spill from Ann Coulter’s mouth. And so much more. So much I can’t list them all here. I don’t have to. You already know.

I read these things, and had nothing to say. For the first time, after years of reading the news, I found myself with nothing to say. I found myself overwhelmed, heartsick, at a loss for words. I had no words but these: “When are we going to move from words to action?”

I took a short vacation. The days grow longer still …

JFK Speaks on Secret Societies