Wednesday, March 20, 2002

it's that time again

[email sent 20 March 2002]

Hello readers,

Happy Vernal Equinox (or Happy Autumnal Equinox to my relatives in Australia)! I hope this message finds you well and not down a well (unless that's where you enjoy being).

As you may recall, I last sent out a general message on the Winter Solstice. And now I send out one on the first day of spring (from my quick research on the 'net, I believe it officially occurs at 11:19 a.m., Pacific Standard Time), which undoubtedly leads some of you to believe I'm on some quarterly schedule for these messages. However, longtime readers (technically, I've been sending out these ramblings for a few years now--I know, I can't believe it either) know that I'm also motivated to compose when I need to vent about something. (This past weekend, in fact, I saw a former dragonboating buddy, and he said something about how he couldn't wait for something to annoy me so he'd get another e-mail diatribe from me.) Now, I wish to get one thing clear: This cat Shaft is a bad mutha--[shut yo' mouth!] But I'm clarifying about Shaft. [Then we can dig it.] Also, there are other events besides the passing of the seasons and something pissing me off that inspire me. (Believe me: if annoyance and frustration were all it took, with much of what's been going on at work lately, you all would be receiving messages from me almost daily.)

Just to thwart the expectations you may have developed since before the last paragraph, I'm not going to prattle on about the scientific ramifications of the sun crossing the ecliptic, or about the Wiccan Sabbat of Ostara (Eostre) that occurs on (or at least around) the equinox, or the concept of rebirth inherent in the pagan and Christian celebrations that happen around this time, for three main reasons:

- I am neither Wiccan, other pagan, or Christian, and anything I said about that topic would be summarizing what information I gleaned from checking out webpages on the topic, not from my own knowledge or experience, and heck, if you're really that interested you could do a search as easily as I could. (Must I do everything for you?) If you don't understand why bunnies are so prevalent now, I urge you to look into it.

- I don't feel the need to pretend to seem smart. Either you like me already or you don't.

- Nobody reads anything longer than about a paragraph or two. I was recently informed of that, and so I figure, why bother?

I will note that I remember from the astronomy class I took my freshman year of college, all those many years ago, that "equinox" is Latin for "equal night". If that impressed you in the slightest, you are obviously not considering that for as much as I spent putting myself through university, I really should remember a lot more, otherwise that tidbit was extraordinarily costly. Especially in light of the fact that I walked into a book store the other day, flipped through a book on Presidential facts that was in the discount section that I did not purchase (on which I spent no money) and can now tell you the following I do remember: if you thought the first names of Presidents Coolidge and Eisenhower were, respectively, Calvin and Dwight, you would be completely wrong. (Both adopted their middle names; their actual first names: John and David.) From something I saw on the History Channel, I could tell you that the name for the popular font Trebuchet comes from a catapult device from the Middle Ages. I could also tell you that the Ramones had two separate songs whose titles began with "Now I Wanna"--"Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue", from their first album in 1976, and "Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy" from their second album in 1977. And for none of this did college play any part.

Yes, I could go off on what a tragedy it is that a song by those punk pioneers was used in a Nissan commercial--the one where the SUV is cutting through the hedges in the middle of a steeple chase--but we're well past the second paragraph now. Besides, anyone who hasn't figured out that those who formerly considered themselves part of the "counter-culture" are now a target demographic for advertisers need not hear it from me. Far be it for me to burst anyone's bubble. Really. Happiness is nothing more than a matter of proper maintenance of your delusions.

And what has this to do with anything? Nothing whatsoever. However, if you choose to believe it does, then it does. See how easy that was?

The other thing that some people have apparently determined about my messages is I usually have some self-deprecating twist at the end, but predictability is the death of art, and I don't particularly have some twist in mind, so you will have to be appeased by...
Talk to you in July!


p.s. Swahili gumbo plaza nook vehement slithy tothes. (You're not reading this far anyway.)