bunt sign

Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Each night, I usually make some notes or an outline of what I think I'll write in the next day's journal entry. Sometimes I even do a rough draft. If I'd done that last night, there might not be an entry today, and if there were, you wouldn't want to read it.

As good as Sunday was, Monday was just that bad. It started with not being able to get to sleep Sunday night. On little or no sleep, I'm not only slow and a bit dim. I'm also short-tempered, irritable, and generally hard to get along with. I take every bend in the road as a personal affront. I tend to slam doors, kick walls and throw things across the room.

Come to think of it, maybe you would want to read what I might have written under that cloud last night. But I'm just as happy not to have produced any direct evidence of my demons.

This was the first really bad night I've had in a while. I've been prone to insomnia in the past, but lately I've been following a fairly strict routine of winding down, and it's been working. And I did the same thing Sunday night that I've been doing. It's just the result that was different, and I can't account for it.

I'm better today. There's no reason, other than the obvious. Last night I slept. Whatever.

Oh, and I woke up to find that The Mighty Kymm had made bunt sign the Journal of the Week! That makes a guy feel kind of good, too.

At nine last night I gave up on getting any more work done and sat down to watch Jazz on PBS. I think that was the beginning of my recovery. As he did with baseball, Ken Burns has taken a subject I thought I knew a little about and shown me its history in a way I haven't looked at it before. And Wynton Marsalis expressed his own perspective so lyrically that his personality gave the program a warmer glow.

I'm not saying I thought I knew as much about jazz as I thought I knew about baseball. It turns out I didn't know as much as I thought I did about either one, though. And any subject is so much more complex than it seems on the surface, or even from a lifetime of accumulated knowledge. Any day I don't learn something new is a day wasted.

For awhile now, I've been so busy or distracted or something that I haven't taken time to read much of the daily newspaper. Maybe it was election overload. For so long there was only one story, and I followed it so intently that when it ended I lost interest in anything else that was going on.

So now I pick up the paper and it's like 1993 again. A president-elect has nominated to a Cabinet post a woman who had an undocumented alien working in her home. Is there nothing new under the sun? Clinton had two nominees for attorney general hounded out of Washington. I don't think the nation would lose much if the same thing happened to Bush's choice for labor secretary, but I'm not sure it's the kind of crime that should disqualify a person from serving her country.

Bush has every right to nominate John Ashcroft, who may or may not be a gun-loving, anti-choice, racist homophobe, for attorney general. (See how reasonable I am?) And fair-minded Senators from both parties have every right to question him on his views and make sure he would enforce gun laws, and civil rights laws, and laws protecting clinic access. No one who doesn't believe he can do the job has any obligation to vote to confirm him.

One factor used against Gore in the recent election (remember that?) was that he voted to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. So if that's going to be a basis for casting my vote, maybe I should see how my Senators cast their own votes in the confirmation process, and how the new president's administration performs over the next four years. If I'm not happy, I'll know what to do.

Oh, but I can't leave it up to Boxer and Feinstein. I have to pay attention to what's going on in Washington and keep letting them know what I expect them to do about it. I kind of relish wading into the upcoming debates. I plan to be an active participant. It's the prerogative of the minority to stand up for itself and, if necessary, howl about the abuses of the majority.

Whoa! That felt good. It's been a long time, eh?

Don't worry. I'm not going to be writing about politics every day. I can never stick to any one subject for long.

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So pass the jar and that old guitar in this hangdog hotel room.