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March 25th, 2018

Dispatch from Devoslandia March 25, 2018

*My sure sign of Spring and the promise of warmer days to come is my cross-the-street neighbor Cheri putting out her giant Rainbow Flag announcing her Queerness to a hood filled with GOP Faithful and God Fearing, Good People who wear intolerance like long underwear. Citizens who have perfected the art of benign bigotry to articulate heights not seen since William Buckley slithered over the earth. This year Cheri has upped the ante by adding a second flag of the same rainbow design, but with a giant peace sign superimposed on top of the multi colored bars.  I've taken this escalation to be a passive aggressive "fuck you" not only to the Hood in general, but specifically to my next door neighbor. A guy who left his raft of Trump election signs up in his front yard nearly a year after that fateful day when America took a Turn.  (As a side note, I may or may not have pissed on said signs late one sultry summer night after wallowing around on the tiles of downtown Devoslandia)  Cheri has also plowed under or dug up her entire lawn and replaced it with some sort of ground covering plant that doesn't require mowing.  This move likely upsets people more than the flag thing does, because for a lot of them, their lawn is their pride.  As for me, I keep eyeing my small but time consuming lawn with a jaundiced, increasingly disenchanted squint. Cheri has the right of it methinks.

*Speaking of my next door neighbor on the Lake side - not only is he a staunch, supportive citizen of Trumpistan he is also a wholly unpleasant slab of humanity.  Imagine that.  He is one of these large beefy guys with an impressive beer belly and a persistent scowl on his mug. His girth isn't due to drinking, but to a diet full of Mountain Dew and Carbs.  I couldn't imagine what his general attitude would be if he were a drinker.  I try to deal with him as little as possible because absolutely everything I've "worked" with him before has been exhausting.  He is never happy - even if things go his way.  Property issues are a particular sore spot - he views our shared property line like his Hero views the Mexican Border.   Any sort of incursion in the slightest is blown into a sort of personal invasion.  I've got a major project planned for this summer that involves my garage which sits right on the line.  The hardest part of the project isn't going to be paying for it, getting city permissions for the project or simply getting it done.  It's going to be dealing with my MAGA neighbor.  People say National Politics doesn't really affect our daily lives that much. It's said that we can easily ignore what the politicians in DC do because it just doesn't figure into daily life.  Nonsense.

*  This Winter was nearly a copy of the year before... 3 months of non-stop Lake Effect snow with a few blizzards thrown in.  I don't like the snow. Makes it hard to get around and I'm physically not able to play in it. Ankle and hip issues make skiing/skating/snowshoeing problematic.  So what's left is the Chore side of snow - shoveling/snowblowing. So the charm of a Winter Wonderland is pretty much lost on me and the level of loss becomes greater with every passing year. I'd actually be alright with frigid temperatures if no snow came with the deal.  Every Winter brings some sort of damage or decline - this year was hard on my old garage and my old car.  My car was sideswiped twice - once right in front of my house and once in a restaurant parking lot.  No note from the perpetrators in either case and adding insult to injury, my insurance says I have to pay a deductible.  Well - I'm a cheap/stubborn bastard so I've become THAT GUY driving a jacked up car held together with tape and baling wire.  My garage has wood rot and developed holes in the roof and sides this Winter. So I have to decide whether to repair the thing or tear it down and put up a carport.  Either way - I'm scheming to hit up my homeowner's for the job - I'm lining up my arguments that wood rot is covered in my policy.  Hey - it's worth a shot.

*The binge viewing report:  I've moved on from the excellent "Babylon Berlin", through all 4 seasons of the fluffy Danish teacher Drama "Rita" (both on Netflix) to playing Current Season Catch Up with "Bob's Burgers" and "Rick and Morty" (Hulu).  I'm struggling with "Altered Carbon" (Netflix) - I'm a fan of the cyber punk/dystopian urban future oevre, but there's something about this one that's hard to get through. I'm trying too hard to like it, which is a sure sign that the show probably sucks and just I don't know it yet.   I'm also working my way through "The Alienist" (TBS) which has been good so far - I really enjoyed the book.  For some reason, as I'm watching this show, I keep having this thought that someone really needs to pick up Mieville's "Perdido Street Station" and serialize that - I'm guessing it's the similar mood and complexity.

*Movie Report:  Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" and the next Star Wars installment, "Solo", and Brando month at the local art house cinema - that is all. Oh!  And "Whatever Happened to Monday" on Netflix - two thumbs waay up.

*Pop Culture Social Media Randomness - Through a friend's direction on FB, I've recently started following writer Samuel Delany's FB page.  I've just been creeping but I'll eventually comment or message.  I'm a Delany fan boy from way back in high school when I read my first Delany book - "Dahlgren".  It was one of the most dense, weird, compelling things I'd read up to that point and I was instantly hooked. A seminal dystopian SF novel. My gateway to many similar authors including the aforementioned China Mieville.  And now, all this time later, I'm reading Mr. Delany's near daily musings about his life in NYC.
What's good about FB?