The long saga that is my lack of an adequate computerized text inputting device is ongoing. I predict that with the help of courageous villagers, the monster will be slain by next week.
Speaking of monsters, I’ve always been a little creeped out by Janus, the god January was named after. Two faces, front and back. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Diversity is a positive good, not merely to be tolerated. We’re supposed to be inspired to look forward to the new year and backward to the old year, simultaneously. This brings up a couple of things: New Year’s resolutions, and the fact that my mother always said she had eyes in the back of her head.
My main resolution is to survive 2022 at least as well as I survived 2021. I think I’ll make it physically, but I’m not too hopeful for my mental state by the end.
As for my mother’s claim, it was clearly false. I looked and never saw any eyes back there. I gathered she must have meant it metaphorically, but there was no supporting evidence. I got away with all sorts of things when her back was turned to me.
In contrast, my mother liked to sneak up behind me and swat the back of my head. It never worked. I always ducked at the last moment. I even knew which way to duck. So, I was the one with “eyes in back of the head.” I credit mostly good hearing and the ability to read the feel of disturbed air in my hair. She couldn’t figure it out at all. I thought of telling her it was a martial arts trick I learned, but I’m sure she would’ve just swatted the front of my head for my impudence.
It’s Friday for me now. It started snowing five days ago, and weather forecasters are predicting more snow the next two days before there will be a chance of any thaw. That will be good for you future dwellers out there.
The situation for homeless people is dire. The exiting mayor isn’t helping, conducting sweeps in snow and below freezing weather. Why? To nail down her legacy?
Three weeks ago — before all the snow — I found myself walking south on 3rd Avenue from Walgreens to the bus stop near Benaroya Hall. I was struck by the culture change I saw.
It used to be that everyone was trying to panhandle from me or trying to sell me drugs. Suddenly, everyone was an entrepreneur, dealing in items hard to come by due to the world-wide supply shortage. Dealing in both directions, too. I was hauling the last six-pack of Bounty paper towels from Walgreens, and one guy insisted I sell it to him. I’m sure he could have sold it for a big profit.
I have a lot of admiration for people who can adapt to changing economic times like that. My one method of adaptation is to apply for food stamps. I can’t buy or sell anything. That requires a whole different set of calculation skills than I have. I don’t do “people” calculus.
One of the entrepreneurs who I encountered at the bus stop was prepared to sell me face masks just like the ones Metro Transit gives out for free on their buses. So brilliant. Who would have thought that would be viable? You hop on a bus, grab a handful of masks from a dispenser, hop off four blocks later, then you sell them to people waiting for a bus who don’t know they could do the same thing.
My people calculus would come up with, “NO WAY THAT WOULD FLY!” This entrepreneur’s people calculus comes up with “WATCH ME!” She’s like the geniuses who successfully sell water in plastic bottles in Seattle where the tap water is better and most of their customers claim to be committed environmentalists, the kind of folks who wouldn’t dream of buying goods in containers to be disposed of at the end of the day. But then they do, all the time.
(Geek alert.) These entrepreneurs would put Asimov’s psychohistorian Hari Seldon to shame. Calculate that, Hari.
A single pair of white socks were up for sale kitty-corner from Ross Dress For Less. Still attached together like they were on display. Who would have thought it a year ago? Plain white socks.
Read more of the Jan. 5-11, 2022 issue.